God made Christ the King over temptation. The most compelling evidence attesting to this truth is the way Christ defeats Satan’s temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:3-11).
A temptation is a real and devastating problem. Eve couldn’t resist it nor did Adam. I can’t either and neither can you. The moment we give into its demand, everything changes for the worse. In fact, this three syllable, ten letter word, damages our relationship with God.
But the Lord’s love for His children is greater than the trouble temptation causes because He redeems us through Christ.
To show us Christ as the redeemer, Matthew’s testimony to the three temptations He faced proves Jesus is stronger than everything the devil can dole out. Each time Lucifer confronted Christ with his cunning deception He didn’t waver from God’s powerful truths.
When we take a deeper look into the enticement Satan used against Christ, an incredible insight into God’s sovereignty emerges. Since the Messiah is God’s Son, so Lucifer created those temptations to overtake Jesus’s kingship.
In other words, those attempts of disobedience aren’t for humans but were made for Jesus. The devil understood who Christ is and designed his temptation in line with assaulting His loyalty to God.
For instance, the devil’s first try to trick Jesus is asking Him to do a miracle. Here Matthew shows us the wisdom of Christ. Jesus rebutted His tempter by sharing the purpose of life isn’t just physical.
Christ used the Old Testament scripture to let Satan know the way God intends for a believer to live (Deuteronomy 8:3). Here our Messiah gives us a blueprint for building a spiritual foundation anchored in God’s will. Remember, my friends, Salvation goes beyond the flesh.
After Jesus defeated Satan’s first entrapment, he tries to lure Christ into tempting God. Here we find the devil seeking to exemplify himself as an expert in interpreting God’s word. The devil used Psalm 91:11-12 to show our Messiah his knowledge of God’s law.
Again Jesus corrected him by explaining another key point toward living in God’s kingdom is never to tempt the Father (Deuteronomy 6:16). Here Christ gives His adversary God’s truth to stress the Lord’s way of staying humble. Tempting God is useless because He is the most powerful and knows our hearts.
God’s enemy failed in those two attempts but gave one last try to make Christ stumble. This last temptation is the real motive behind Satan’s intention of turning away from God and working for his evil deeds.
But Christ’s unshakable trust in the Lord coupled with His perfect wisdom crushed the devil’s trap. Jesus said to him: “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
Matthew gives concrete evidence of Christ’s undeniable power in defeating Satan’s temptations. Under those circumstances, Jesus proved He is God’s King by illustrating His dominance over sin.
Through Christ’s victory, God rewarded Him by sending angels to minister to Him (Matthew 4:11). Likewise, we receive a blessing when we rely on Jesus because God takes notice when we move away from sin and into righteousness.
I know the result of temptation. Every time I give into its enticing call my spirit becomes disturbed leading me to sin. I’m powerless over its entrapment. The moment I succumb to its demands my relationship with God becomes fractured placing a wedge between Christ and me.
On my own, this troubling dilemma gets worse. But when I humble myself before Christ and ask for help, I find courage beyond mine. Then I’m able to stop and turn away from temptation.
My battles with temptation are overwhelming. But because of my everyday reliance on Christ, those wars become less. Since Christ overtook Satan’s domain, He gives me the strength to live in God’s will.
I’m not perfect and when I sin my willingness to repent gives me a way back to Christ. Even though I have to wait for God’s mercy the results from practicing patience outweigh the suffering caused by a hardened heart.
In conclusion, temptations aren’t impossible to overcome because God gave us Christ as our saving King. No matter how tempted you are, remember Jesus is never absent.
How do you overcome your temptation?