“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1
Read this verse over and over. What is God whispering to you?
This morning the whisper I hear is “you’re not alone.” I need this reminder this morning. Jesus is with us all the way. We participate in His death and resurrection, but just as important in His life. If Jesus was tempted by the devil we can expect that we will too. Understanding this means that we have someone to connect with. Jesus knows what it is like to be tempted.
If we read from our verse on to verse eleven we can see how it all went down. Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted. The devil did the tempting. The tempting was the same things we are tempted by. Our pride, our desires, our greed, our need for control, our lack of trust and so many more things that could be attributed to this tempting. Each time Jesus responds with quotes from Scripture. So, the devil even uses scripture to tempt Jesus. How does this relate to us?
Temptation is designed to get us to ack separate from God. To do our will, to think about ourselves, to mistrust God. It is to get us to become our own God. United we stand, divided we fall. The devil wants us to be divided from God. If we are united with God, then we are unstoppable. If we act outside of God, then we are easy pickings.
We don’t know a whole lot about how the devil became the devil. He was created by God as an angel. It is believed that after God created man, He told the angels to serve man and the devil was appalled because he thought he was better than man and man should serve him. So, the devil felt shunned by God because man was His favorite creation. So, the devil has been out to destroy man or at least prove they are not worthy of God’s love. When man apposes God, they do his work for him. He knows that if man is self-absorbed they will destroy each other. But if they are outward focused they help each other. There is a lot more about the devil, but we don’t have the space for it all.
We need to understand that the devil does not have our best interests in mind. He will do anything to get us separated from God. Don’t fall for it. Even knowing this I still struggle. I still fall for the idea that somehow, I know what is best. That I deserve focus on me. I sometimes think that my desires are important. I fall for the thinking that I’m better than others. That my ways are the right ways. But Christ’s death, resurrection and life all set me free from that thinking. I am no longer dead in sin but alive in Christ. The devil doesn’t have power over me, Christ does. We are not alone in our struggles. God loves us. Jesus went through what we go through. Jesus died so that we might live. Stop fighting it. Stop making it about you and start living for God.