Have you been tempted this week?
Satan is a tempter. Too often, we see temptation as a sin. Temptation is not from God, and being tempted is not a sin (see James 1:13-14). Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, and yet He did not sin (see Hebrews 4:15).
King David warned his son, Solomon, that he would be tempted toward foolish behavior (see Proverbs 4:1-9). Wisdom would be his weapon to apply his relationship with God to his circumstances. The Hebrew word for wisdom is chokmah which is the intersection of the vertical (God’s heart) with the horizontal (street smarts). Wisdom delivers us from temptation. The key that unlocks this gateway to God’s protection is humility. When we humble our hearts to the Spirit of God, His wisdom flows through us (see Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).
Jesus was tempted with the lust of the flesh: “The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'” (Matthew 4:3-4).
Jesus was tempted with the pride of life: “Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test'” (Matthew 4: 5-7).
Jesus was tempted with the lust of the eyes: “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him” (Matthew 4:8-11).
When Jesus was tempted, He used the Word of God to defeat temptation and not sin. You can do the same. Next time you are tempted toward foolish behavior, recognize Satan’s bait for what it is, an enticement into a trap. Recite the appropriate Scripture above used by Jesus. He will deliver you from the temptation and direct you toward wisdom.