“Jesus answered him, “It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Matthew 4:7
On the second temptation that the devil presented to Jesus he tried to get Jesus to jump off of a high temple and trust God to catch Him. The devil even used some scripture stating the God would have His angels take care of Him. Jesus answered with another Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:13, that you are not supposed to put God to the test.
The devil was trying to get Jesus to test God in a negative way. He was trying to get Jesus to do something God did not tell Him to do. Jesus later states that He can only say and do things that He sees His Father in heaven doing. In a sense this severely limits what He can say or do.
God only gave one thing that you can do to test Him. That one thing is in giving of your tithes. With giving of tithes God says do it and try Him to see if He will not open the storehouses of heaven and bless you abundantly. Outside of that you are not supposed to test God.
Testing God in this way puts you as the one in control. If God had to bail you out of every situation you put yourself in, with no change of your heart, you would be able to sin on purpose and God would have to bail you out with no repentance.
You would be the one calling the shots. Remember God is the one in absolute control of everything, not you. As a believer, you must allow God to call every action and word you do and say. God has to be completely in control of you.
The devil was not trying to do this. He was trying to set Jesus up. Even today, the devil will try to get you to do things God has not called you to do.
Keep yourself immersed in the scriptures so that you will know what God desires of you. You will see the temptations the devil will bring your way. You can use the scriptures to combat the temptation. God’s Word is alive and active, use it today. Do not use just a part of the scripture as the devil did, but the whole of scripture.
I pray today that God will open your eyes to temptations set before you; that God will help you recall His Words to you; that you will read, study and know God’s Word in your heart; that you will use His Word daily as your guidance; and that God will give you victory over all temptation.
“Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Jesus has been in the desert for 40 days with no food and He is very hungry. The devil comes and tries to get Him to make some stones into bread, since He is the Son of God.
Jesus comes back with a statement quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. That verse starts with a well-known and accepted statement that even the world accepts: you cannot live on bread alone.
There is nothing wrong in having bread in itself. In fact, Jesus broke bread at the last supper and provided bread for feeding the 5,000 and the 7,000. Bread is good for you, but it does not contain all that you need.
Along with bread you need some fruits, vegetables and the meat or protein. Eating just bread will cause you to get sick and your body will fail to function correctly. Even those who don’t believe in God will tell you that you need to eat a well-balanced meal.
In your spiritual walk this is the same. There are some people out there who will just read the gospels and nothing else. They will state if Jesus did not say it, it doesn’t apply.
Others will pull a single verse out of a passage and live by that verse alone. Time is not usually taken to see what the whole Bible says about a given subject, just a verse or two.
Here, Jesus states that you must live on every Word of God. You might ask then how does the Word of God fill you up physically? It does not fill you physically in any way, but it is in the idea of following all of God’s Word. If God has not told you to eat so that you may fast for a time, then you had best not eat. God will sustain you.
Often in life people feel they need more than what God has for them. This is not true. All you need is God’s Word and direction. If you follow God in all He says to say and do, you will have more than you need. Read the whole Word of God–the Bible and listen to the speaking of His Holy Spirit in your life. Eat a well nourished meal daily with God.
I pray today that God will open your eyes and hears to hear His Word for you; that you will live on every word God speaks; that you will not fall into sin trying to live on something God has not given you; that you will see the lies of the world; and that God will fill you with all that you need daily from His Word.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1
Although this verse is very short, it says a lot. This verse occurs right before Jesus ministry begins.
The Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness. Most people have no problems with Him being led, but why would it be in the wilderness? You know Jesus was always led by God to do and say everything He did, but, again, why the wilderness?
The wilderness is a dangerous, lonely location. Jesus is supposed to be bringing great news. How can He bring great news if He is alone in the wilderness?
Before Jesus was to begin His ministry to the world, He had to get alone with God and learn the plan of action. Notice in the next verse He spent 40 days fasting. Jesus got alone with God with no distractions. He learned what God wanted Him to know.
Next trouble occurs when you realize why Jesus was sent into the wilderness: to be tempted by the devil. Jesus was God also and did not know sin or temptation. As a man He had to learn what temptation was and how to overcome it. He never failed at learning this. Jesus never gave into any temptation. Now He knows how to help you get through a temptation.
Some days you may feel like you are completely alone in a wilderness. It may seem like God and all your Christian friends have abandoned you. That is the time to focus in on God. Get alone with God. Use that time to draw closer to Him.
When you are alone in the wilderness it is very easy to give into temptation. No one will see or know what you did because you are alone. Yet, God knows. Get closer to Jesus. Do not allow yourself to fall into temptation.
In the wilderness is also the time to build your spiritual muscles. If everything is going smooth and easy for you it is difficult to know if you have grown stronger in God. Allow this time for a time of growing. Do not complain about God leaving you, He is building you up.
Today I pray for you to have the strength to stay close to God in the wilderness, that God will lead and guide you in and through the wilderness, that you will follow the leading of God, that you will keep your eyes on God, and that you will turn from all temptations.
“Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation 12:12
While still looking into an unknown time frame, John had just shown that the devil was cast down by God. All believers who believed in Jesus and gave testimony of it had triumphed, even if they were killed.
Now John tells the heavens and anyone who dwells in the heavens to rejoice, but gives a warning of woe to those on the earth because that is where the devil is right at this moment. The devil is angry because he knows that he is losing the war and will be defeated soon.
You may focus on the aspect that the devil is here on the earth now wreaking his havoc. This would bring you great sorrow and woe. It will probably set you into a mindset of fear. No one really wants to go up against the devil. No believer wants to be in his target range. You do not want to be around someone who is full of fury and wrath, it usually means harm is coming.
Look back at the first part of this verse about those dwelling in heaven are to rejoice. Why should they rejoice? It is because they know that the devil has been and is being defeated.
How does this affect you today? Think about where you dwell. Yes, you dwell on this earth right now….physically, but where is your real home? If you believe in Jesus, this earth is only your temporary home. Some day heaven will be your permanent home.
Everything you say and do should be done with the mindset of heaven some day as your home. As a believer, you are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Although physically you are not in heaven, spiritually you are there. Your heart and mind should be sitting with God everyday. Make your dwelling in heaven with God while doing His work here on earth.
As you have this type of mindset, the things of this earth will grow dim. You will not care what the devil is trying to do to you. You know that in a short time he will lose the battle. You have won the battle by the blood of Jesus. Do not fear the devil. Keep your focus on God and heaven. What God has for you will be greater than anything you can dream up or imagine. Soon you will be in heaven for eternity.
I pray today that God will fill you with the hope and joy of His salvation; that God will give you a vision of the defeat of the devil; that God will remove any fear of evil brought against you; and that you will rejoice in what Jesus has done and is doing for you.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
Many people love to pass the blame onto someone else. In the corporate and political world you often see people blaming other people for making them do something wrong. Even in the family many people blame parents or one child will blame another for things they themselves do wrong. One very common phrase a lot of people like to make is “the devil made me do it”. Very few people like to take the blame for what they do.
In reality, no one can make you do something you do not want to do. The problem comes in when the pressure to do something you don’t want to do is raised higher and higher. Most people will cave under the pressure, once it gets strong enough, to do something they do not want to do. This pressure can come from friends, family, enemies, and even the devil himself.
In this passage, however, we see that one is first to submit to God. This is letting God have complete control of your life. All your actions, thoughts, and words should be done with God’s direction. Allow God to work in and through you.
Once you submit to God you must, then, resist the devil. The devil will do all he can to get you to fall to temptation. He will use any method necessary, such as your family, friends, co-workers, and even your enemies, to get you to fall. God has given you the power to resist the devil. He has no power over you unless you allow him to have that power. When you resist the devil and turn to God, the devil must flee away from you; but you must do the resisting and the submission. If you do one without the other, you will lose. You have no power in yourself…it is all God’s power.
Today submit your life to God. Let Him have complete control. Resist the devil. Resist all temptations that come against you.
I pray that today God will help you to submit to Him; that God will help you to resist the devil; that God will strengthen you in resisting all temptation; and that God will bring you through to a victory in the battles of temptation that will come your way.