Wow, the holiday season and my birthday are over and I’m finally at the end of the delectable, but deadly, gauntlet of tasty sweets and special holiday food. I won’t tell you how much weight I gained, but I am on my annual diet to get back to a reasonable weight.
The Holy Spirit led Jesus to the desert, where he fasted for 40 days and the Bible says Satan tempted Him for the duration of that time. But towards the end, Jesus faced a significant temptation of hunger, a very realistic human physical need.
Is eating to satisfy our hunger wrong? Of course not. But Jesus had been led by the Spirit and had made a commitment to God to fast during this time period. Breaking the fast by putting His desire for food above His commitment to the Father would have been sin.
There are many desires we experience throughout each day that are normal and good: to succeed in a job, to dress nicely, to make or listen to music, to prosper financially and provide for our family, to enjoy shopping, to commit to a relationship, to participate in a ministry, to see someone we miss, to enjoy a skill or hobby we have. And the list could go on. These things are not wrong in themselves, but they are wrong if they take priority over our relationship with the Lord. God’s plan and God’s leading must always come first.
Jesus responded to the temptation by quoting Scripture. “Man shall not live and be sustained by bread alone, but by every word and expression of God.” In other words, spiritual matters and faithfulness to God are life-sustaining and more important than physical resources could ever be, especially when it comes to meeting our basic needs.
Today, take a moment to think about your life. Is there an area that is taking priority that should not be … that takes up mind space or emotional energy and is pushing God and other important Earthly responsibilities out? Is it causing you to slide backwards in your relationship with God? Is it tempting you to make wrong choices? If so, now is the time to get back on track. As Jesus taught us, turn to God’s Word. Say “no” to the temptation. That choice honors God and is the best thing for you anyway. Develop a concrete strategy to break that hold on your heart. WITHIN REACH and Edging Forward are designed to equip you to successfully resist Satan’s temptations. Life is your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, I confess there are areas in my life that are causing me to slide in my relationship with You. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I seek and better understand your Holy Bible and allow it to guide me as it guided Jesus. Please help me put your word into action for practical living, and not just a part of my rarely visited spiritual-intellectual library. I pray this in the name of the One who always honored His ultimate priority, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Then the devil said to Him, If You are the Son of God, order this stone to turn into a loaf of bread. And Jesus replied to him, “It is written, Man shall not live and be sustained by (on) bread alone but by every word and expression of God.”
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:13,14