Scripture: Matthew 4: 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted [a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Observation: There is a purpose behind every temptation, a reason behind all hardships and struggles.
Application: The redundant teaching from yesterdays journal is not totally lost on me, I think sometimes the good Lord needs to tell me something more than once for it to really sink in. Since when was it a good thing to go through temptations, especially at the hand of one as evil as the devil himself. But notice in verse 1, that it is the Spirit that led Jesus into the wilderness for this very purpose. It’s God that is in control of this whole scene, the devil is but a pawn in His plan, and rather than tearing Jesus down as the devil thought he would, the temptations strengthened Jesus and prepared him for the beginning of His ministry.
We may see the devil as some all powerful being, but I think sometimes we give him more credit than is really due. He is a creation of God, he is subject to God’s plan and purpose, and is not able to do anything that God is unaware of. Yes he is spoken of as a ruler, and a prince of the powers of the air (Eph 2:2), even as a god of this world (2 Cor 4:4) but these titles are temporary and quickly fading. You see our enemy was defeated by the actions of God through Jesus Christ at Calvary 2000 years ago. Hallelujah! We don’t have to be afraid, we have been given authority over him and his angels. (Luke 10:20)
Of course, the fact that he has already lost the battle, hasn’t kept the devil from being active throughout the ages since the cross, in fact, he may be more active now than he was then. We know from the apocryphal writings that his activities will increase even more as that day of the second coming of Christ draws closer, and even though the outcome of that battle is a foregone conclusion, it is still yet to be fought. I’m not sure if he believes that he will come out victorious or if he is simply compelled to fight against us still; but one thing is for certain, just as surely as God was in control when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, He is still in control today when it comes to our own temptations, and He will still be in control when the final trump is sounded and the greatest battle of history between darkness and light is begun.
If you go and read the entire story of the temptations in Matt 4, you’ll find that Jesus used scripture to fight the devil each time, and this I think is a good example for us. That is why these journals have become so important to me, its why I think its important for all of us to get back into the word of God on a daily basis. The word, is the only offensive weapon we have in our arsenal it is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17) and we need to have it ready at a moments notice because you never know when and where your next spiritual battle will be.
Thank you for being with me, and being in control of all the things I encounter in life. Thank you for watching over me and my family. Please keep us safe, and help us to keep our feet planted firmly on the narrow road to life eternal with you.
Yield: Help me to see Your good, within the bad things I encounter.