Testing in the Wilderness

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here.  For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Luke 4:1-13

Oscar Wilde once said, “I can resist anything but temptation.” Ha! Part of the human experience is being tempted. It comes in many forms, but we are ALL familiar with the deep, compelling pull to prioritize ourselves over others and distrust God by seizing what we want for ourselves rather than obeying Him. Jesus too faced temptation. Luke 4 describes one of these occasions in vivid detail. What we find is that Jesus not only proves to be an example worth emulating in our struggles with temptation, He offers us something even better!

“It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” C.S. Lewis

Prayer Points

  • Pray for your group, that God would strengthen you as you face temptation and that you would resist the devil, standing firm in the truth.
  • Pray for our church, that we collectively would not allow the devil to deceive us into compromising our integrity or the mission that God has given us.