“The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” – Matthew 4:4 (http://bible.com/116/mat.4.4.NLT)
Can you imagine not eating for 40 days? No food, no snacks. I don’t know about you, but most days I have trouble going 6 hours without at least a snack, let alone 24 hours, or a week. 40 days. That’s what Jesus did, and He did it with intention. The scriptures tell us that He did this before He began His ministry, but also this: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.” – Matthew 4:1 (http://bible.com/116/mat.4.1.NLT)
He went out specifically to be tempted, and Satan did his best to cause Jesus to give in. He tempted Jesus with hot bread after all those days without food. For me, the smell of bread, fresh out of the oven, is incredibly tempting. Even if I have just eaten, a hot roll or slice of hot bread is hard to resist. Just smelling it makes my stomach rumble in anticipation! When the hot bread didn’t work, Satan went on to another temptation, the ability to fly, really, because he knew – and Jesus knew – that His angels would prevent Him from hitting the ground. I’ve dreamed of flying across the country, and it would be another great temptation for me to submit to. Finally, Satan shows Jesus the world.
“Next the devil took Him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to You,” he said, “if You will kneel down and worship me.” – Matthew 4:8-9 (http://bible.com/116/mat.4.8-9.NLT)
Imagine! You are offered the chance to rule the entire earth; could you resist? Really? We know that God created the earth, and that ultimately He will rebuild and reshape it into the perfection it was in the beginning. For now, though, and since Adam and Eve, God the Almighty has allowed Satan to rule because of their choices. So Jesus was offered the world…. He knew that Satan was and is the ultimate liar. Even so, it had to be tempting to take back the world in that instant. Jesus, through all of His temptations, gives us the words to get past the temptations we face daily.
“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your GOD and serve only Him.’ ” – Matthew 4:10 (http://bible.com/116/mat.4.10.NLT)
Are you faced with a specific temptation today? I encourage you to pray about it, and to let the enemy know you recognize his tricks. Saying the words out loud can be a powerful tool. Satan and his minions can’t see into our heads or know our thoughts, but they have had years, centuries, to learn faces and behavior patterns. Be vocal against the enemy! Call him out, and let Jesus in so that He can stand with you against Satan.