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Three Things Jesus Taught About Overcoming Temptation

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Earlier this week, we discussed how every one of us struggles with a repetitive cycle of sin, why that is, and the three categories of temptation we all face. We also discussed how to overcome those temptations in our lives by learning to speak like Jesus.

Now, dive in a little deeper to see exactly how Jesus overcame the SAME temptations and desires we face today.

In Luke, Chapter 4, Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit, and yet He is led into the wilderness by the Spirit. Typically that’s not the place we want to be led, but this is also why most of us will never lead a meaningful life. We want the promise before the wilderness. However, sometimes it’s important to work things out in private before we are visible in the public’s eye. This approach is what Jesus walks out in His life. Before launching into public ministry, He goes into the wilderness to pray and fast. It is in this setting that the enemy shows up to tempt Him. The devil wants Jesus to sin. He wants Jesus to break the law of God. How does Satan tempt Jesus? In the same three ways, he tempts us!

  • 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 4:4 (NKJV)

He tempts Jesus to turn a rock into bread, trying to provoke Jesus to flaunt his spiritual prowess. But Jesus resists this temptation by saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” Jesus tells the enemy that spiritual food, the Word of God, is of greater value than any natural food. The enemy tried to appeal to the desire of Jesus’s flesh…His hunger. He tempted him through the LUST OF THE FLESH.

  • Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” -Luke 4:5-8 (NKJV)

Next, the enemy tried to show Jesus all of the Kingdoms of the world and everything they had to offer. He offers to give all of this to Jesus, but in return, Jesus has to worship him. The enemy tries to appeal to the LUST OF THE EYES. But Jesus resisted this temptation and declared the truth of God’s Word… ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” He also commanded Satan to get behind Him! This example is powerful because you can do this in your own life. You can speak to the enemy, crushing the bondage of discontentment, comparison, and temptation.

  • Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands, they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ” Now, when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. -Luke 9-13 (NKJV)

The next temptation Jesus faced was the enemy challenging His Father’s love for Him. Satan tried to convince Jesus to attempt suicide so that His Heavenly Father would have to intervene... And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” The enemy tempted Jesus with the PRIDE OF LIFE.

We see every category of sin appear in Luke, Chapter 4. We learned earlier this week that sin is lawlessness, and we break the law of God because we fight against our desires. Our desires always fall within one of these three categories: lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or pride of life.

But Jesus overcame every category! And Heaven wants you to know that because Jesus overcame every category of temptation, so can you! You do not have to settle for being a law-breaker in the eyes of God. Of course, you may slip up or make mistakes, but that is not your final story. You are made new in Jesus Christ!

How did Jesus have the strength to overcome the enemy’s temptations? Through three things: prayer, fasting, and speaking the Word of God.

1. REALIGN YOUR PRIORITIES through PRAYER. Seasons of PRAYER can help you realign your PRIORITIES. You value whatever the temptation is offering less and begin prioritizing the meaningful things that God has already made or is making available.

2. CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVES through FASTING. Seasons of FASTING can help you become more hungry for God than your next meal, and this changes your PERSPECTIVE. There is no greater appetite than our desire for food. Seeking God through fasting is a great way to modify your perspective regarding what is most meaningful in your life.

3. DECLARE GOD’S PURPOSE for your life through HIS WORD. When you are in a season of prayer and fasting, you should also be in a direct relationship with the WORD OF GOD, which leads you into a place where you can start declaring God’s PURPOSE over your life. If you are going to pray, you must involve God’s Word because the most potent form of prayer is praying the promises of God. As well, if you are going to fast, not only should you pray in place of regular meals, but you should read the Word of God as a supplement to the plate that would typically sit on your table during meals. This intensified relationship with God’s word sets you up to better declare His purpose for your life as you are in seasons of realigning priorities and changing perspectives.

Your purpose is not to bow down to the enemy so that you can have more of this world. Instead, your objective is to bow down to God so you can have more of the Kingdom of Heaven made manifest on Earth. This mission is your purpose!

My challenge to us, going into the first 100 days of the new year, is to intensify your pursuit of God through prayer, fasting, and studying God’s Word. It may sound elementary, but it is life-changing. God has called you to live a meaningful life…to be more than a weak, powerless Christian. He has called you to be a Spirit-empowered, life-giving, need-meeting, Jesus-connected, devil-stomping Christian!

Let’s put the devil in his place! Let’s live a meaningful life. Let’s start walking out the purpose God has for us, and as we come into the first 100 days of 2022, may you set things in motion that will not only change this year but generations to come.

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1 Comment

Mary Howard
Mary Howard
Jan 06, 2022

Love this encouragement!

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