I can’t think of any temptation I’ve given in to that’s been positive for my life or the people I love. The nature of temptation comes from its author – Satan – whose purpose is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Every time I’ve given in to temptation it’s had some negative impact in my life.
Jesus said to be on your guard because we will all experience and face stumbling blocks (temptation).
When your physical, emotional or spiritual appetites aren’t met – whether it’s beyond your control, intentional or the result of neglect – you’re a prime target for temptation. For example: In marriage, if his or her emotional need for love and respect is not met – look out for temptation. 1 Cor.7:1-6 talks about Satan’s use of temptation when the physical need for sexual fulfillment in the marriage is not met.
Scripture tells us Jesus was tempted in every way, but never gave in – He never sinned. But that didn’t keep Satan from trying. In Matthew 4, we find an account where Satan made a direct connection with Jesus for the purpose of temptation.
Jesus had been fasting for 40 days. A physical appetite had been neglected intentionally by Jesus so after 40 days He was hungry. Satan’s first temptation related to Jesus’ physical hunger.
During this encounter, Satan used three specific & different temptations and each time Jesus answered him by quoting scripture. However, Satan also used scripture in one of his attempts to tempt Jesus. Many times, Satan or his followers, come disguised as bearers of truth (angels of light) and twist the truth of Scripture to tempt someone.
A few takeaways to consider:
1. When right appetites are not met – regardless of the reason – watch out for temptation.
2. Jesus was tempted in a direct manner by Satan – so we’re not immune from it.
3. Knowing & memorizing scripture is a great weapon against temptation.
4. People can and will use scripture at times as a way of temptation.
5. You and I need to be students of the Word of God and application of Scripture grows our wisdom.