“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.' But he answered, 'It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you," and “On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, 'Again it is written, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, 'All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.' Then Jesus said to him, 'Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.” Matthew 4:1-11
“For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:16-18
The Father brings trials to build, strengthen, and encourage us to deepen our faith in Him. Satan desires to turn trials into temptations that will lead us into despair and isolation.
“Great winds and storms help fruit-bearing trees. So also do corruptions and temptations help the fruitfulness of grace and holiness. The storm loosens the earth round its roots so the tree is able to get its roots deeper into the earth, where it receives fresh supplies of nourishment. But only much later will it be seen to bring forth better fruit. So corruptions and temptations develop the roots of humility, self-abasement and mourning in a deeper search for that grace by which holiness grows strong. But only later will there be visible fruits of increased holiness.” John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 6
Temptations that Jesus Faced (Matthew 4:1-11)
1. To substitute surpassing and unending pleasure with temporary pleasure. (Matthew 4:3-4)
2. The appeal to pride/showmanship. (Matthew 4:5-7)
3. Pursuit of power and the short circuiting of the pre-ordained purposes of the triune God. (Matthew 4:8-10)
1. You are on a dangerous journey that requires appropriate levels of ___________.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
“Most of us live our lives too serious about casual things and too casual about serious things. We fret about clothes and calories. We fuss about diets and home decor. Our whole week can be ruined by a sporting event gone wrong. We are supremely concerned about these relative unimportant matters. And yet we will start each new day as if we were in no spiritual danger, as if we had no enemy, as if we were not at war with our flesh.” Kevin DeYoung, The Lord's Prayer
2. Satan uses different__________for different seasons of our lives and various situations.
3. You are to fight ___________and___________pleasure with the eternal and ___________pleasure of the reality of Christ. (Romans 13:14)
4. Satan is never _____________in his designs. ( Luke 4:13) And the grace of the living God is ___________. (Matthew 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 10:13)
1. What is the bait that the devil can use in your life at this particular time in your life?
2. What are some of the traditional temptations related to various age stages?
3. What do we mean when we say that Jesus “fought the temporary and diminishing pleasures with the surpassing and unending pleasure of the reality of grace”?
4. What do we mean when we say “we are never out of the gunshot range of the devil”? (John Bunyan)
5. How aware are you of the daily spiritual warfare that is taking place around us?
6. How does God desire to use trials in our life? (see quote by John Owen)
Temporary, fleeting, sustaining