Practical discussion on contemporary life challenges from an ancient perspective.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
TRIUMPH OVER THE LUST OF THE FLESH
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by
the devil. And in those days He ate
nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said
to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But
Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word of God.’ ” (Luke 4:1-4)
When did this temptation occur?It was after an occasion of unparalleled
blessing.Some of the most dangerous
times you will face are after such times.Christ had just been baptized and heard Heaven’s approval—and now He will
engage in a titanic test with the Tempter.You cannot drop your guard for a moment.Satan is like a poisonous viper coiled to strike as soon as you cease to
be on the watch for him.
Thankfully, Jesus was ready.He goes out in the fullness and power of the
Holy Spirit.But, so can you.We are no match for the Devil in our own
strength and wisdom, yet we are foolish to think we must—when God intends
for us to be filled with His Mighty Spirit.Indeed this test was ordained of God.Jesus was not only filled with the Spirit, but it says He was led by the
Spirit.God will never lead you into a
war you can’t win.If he brings you to it, He
will bring you through it.
Where did this conflict occur?In the wilderness—and isn’t that an apt
description of the battlefield we find ourselves on—the wilderness of
this world?It was in the wilderness
was tested for 40 years and failed, and it is in the wilderness where Jesus is
tested for 40 days and wins!
What was the nature of this
temptation?He fasts for that period of
forty days—to the limits of human endurance, and is famished and fatigued at the
end.Then Satan tempts him to fulfill a
God-given drive in an illegitimate way.He
suggests, “The end justifies the means.”It is a pragmatic approach to life that asks, “Will you get the
right results?”The world functions that way—naturally.Sadly, the church has bought into the same
philosophy far too often.This is a
man-centered approach that appeals to our desires.What we need is a God-centered approach that
rests in God’s designs.Jesus had this
theological approach to life that asked, “Will this be the right thing?”
It was then that Jesus overcomes the
lust of the flesh by a greater appetite for the Word of God.The body requires food, but life is about
more than our body—for we have a spiritual side to
nourish as well.The Lord always did
this—daily feeding on that which put strength into His soul—and thus, when the
battle broke, He had the resources in reserve to answer the challenge.
Have you fed on God’s Word this
morning?That is how we have triumph
over the lust of the flesh!