Day 5: How to Resist Temptation

Read Matthew 4: 1-11
Read Luke 4:1-13

Take a second and think: what do you do to combat temptation when it comes to eating?

We all have strategies, or else we’d just eat whatever we want, whenever we want, and none of us would live past age 30. When I’m tempted, I think about my wife, Sarah, and the family we plan on having. I want to be around and healthy for them for a long time, and that’s going to require exercise and discipline with my diet. Imagining our future keeps me from ordering a double cheeseburger for lunch every day (most of the time, at least).

That tact might work against my appetite, but it doesn’t stand a chance against Satan. When it comes to resisting the devil, we need something far more powerful than our will. On our own, we’re toast.

So let’s return to the scene we’ve studied the last few days. As Jesus was fasting and starving in the wilderness, the devil arrived to tempt Him. Three different times Satan tried to coerce Jesus into taking the easy way out and remove Himself from His perilous situation.

Look at Jesus’ replies:

  • “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
  • “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:7)
  • “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” (Matthew 4:10)

Each time the devil attacked, Jesus parried him away with scripture. Each rebuttal came from a passage in the book of Deuteronomy: in order, 8:3; 6:16; and 6:13. After Jesus’ final rebuke, the devil left Him, disappointed and defeated.

On our own, we are no match against Satan’s power. We’re bringing a toothpick to a swordfight. But God has given us a weapon to battle the devil: the Bible. In these pages are wisdom and teachings that can help us overcome any circumstance. But you must practice using the weapon to use it skillfully in battle. Dig into the Bible and commit yourself to understanding God’s lesson; only then will you feel comfortable using your weapon when Satan attacks.

Jesus was frequently in the Word and prayed continuously, so when His temptations arrived, He had the knowledge to back Him up. Satan tried to deceive Him with false claims, but Jesus had the truth to cut right through Satan’s weak attempts.

As we conclude this first week, prayerfully devote time each day to spend in the work. Even if it’s just a few minutes before work or over your lunch break, any time spent in scripture will help equip you for your daily battles with Satan’s temptations.