Tempted in Every Way Part I
Key Verse: Luke 4:2a
… He was tempted by the devil for forty days…
Additional Reading: Luke 4:1-14
I think that most of us find it difficult to believe that Jesus was truly tempted to do wrong. Somehow, we believe that being “Jesus” meant that His temptations were much easier to overcome than when we are tempted. However, the Bible tells us that Jesus was not only tempted but He was tempted in “every way”! (Hebrews 4:15). You have never been tempted in a way that Jesus wouldn’t understand or relate to. Your temptations are never stronger than the power of the temptations that Jesus felt when the devil tempted Him.
In our scripture reading for today, we see that Jesus had gone without food for forty days and that Jesus was very hungry. In other words, like us, going without food makes us weak and vulnerable to anything that would offer satisfaction to our growling stomachs! In these verses, the Bible makes it clear that the devil is behind all temptations to sin. In the Book of James, the Bible makes this very clear, “God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else”. (James 1:13)
God is for you and never against you, as you face the trials and temptations of this life. The Bible reminds us that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you! (Romans 8:34). In other words, Jesus sees what we are going through and is constantly asking the Father to bless us with His grace and strength so we have victory over it all.
The question we all have is, is Jesus is interceding for us and God is for us, why would we ever fail in the temptations we face? The simple answer is that God never takes away our free moral choice. God could make us a robot, where He commands all our movements, but He wants us to choose Him by our own free will. We fail in trials and temptations when we choose to go our way instead of God’s way. In this world, God’s Way is narrow and tough. Our humanness tends to pull us toward that which feels easy. We must trust God so much that we will fight the battle of our flesh and go the narrow way. The good news is that God has made us a promise: He will never let our temptations be so strong that we can’t defeat them. If you don’t memorize any other verse in the Bible, be sure to choose 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
The Devil loves to tell us that our own temptation is far harder than what anyone could expect to overcome. God tells us that that is a lie of the devil and that He would never allow anything to come into your life that was too hard for you to handle. The Devil loves to tell us that we might as well give in and give up because there is no way out of it. God tells us that every temptation we face has a way out if we’ll look for it. The key for us is to look for a way out. In the very nature of temptation is that fact that there is a huge part of us that doesn’t want to walk away from it… that is why it tempts us. In tomorrow’s devotion, I talk about the different “way outs” that we can look for, if we will only do so.
Father, guide me away from temptation today. Grant me victory in the battles that the evil one sends my way. In Jesus’s name, amen.