Temptation Training Grounds! Could temptation be a good thing? - Matthew 4 Blog
I spent some time reading in Matthew 4 today during my Time Alone With God (TAWG). Yet again, another chapter that was filled with some great insight that I can apply to my life. I pondered on two main questions as a result of reading this chapter. First, does God (The Holy Spirit) ALLOW US to be tempted for our own good? Second, could it be that Jesus is showing us how we can be victorious against the enemy when he tries to bring temptation our way?
The first scripture I want to focus on is, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1 NIV). Wait, what?!?! The Spirit led Jesus away to tempted by the devil? Really? At first thought one might think that it is terrible that the Spirit would put Jesus through this. But, perhaps this was the Spirits way of giving Jesus his own training ground. Kind of like the old saying, “practice makes perfect”. Jesus was getting some good time to practice getting victory over the devils evil tricks/schemes. He was getting some insight to Satan’s game play and how he fights dirty.
Back when I used to play on my junior high basketball team we would often do scrimmage practices against our high school team. Our coach wasn’t being cruel to make us play against the high school team, but rather he was actually making us better because we were playing against older guys that were more skilled in the game. In order to even begin to hang with these guys, our offensive plays had to be flawless and our defensive game had to be on point. Satan is known as the King of Lies and no one can come up with more EVIL SCHEMES then him. So, the Spirit was allowing Jesus to begin His practice against the biggest competitor He would face in His journey here on Earth. Jesus was tested by Satan’s lies and schemes and He was victorious over them all. We will talk more about His secret to victory later.
So, as I meditated on this first point, another scripture came to mind: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV). Could it be that the Holy Spirit allows US to be tempted and go through trials/tribulations too? Well, if we hope to grow in our relationship with Jesus, then victories over the enemy and his lies/evil schemes is one way that we can experience that growth. As that scripture says, “trials produce perseverance” and eventually these victories will make us “mature and complete, not lacking in anything”.
Now, let’s take a look at the second point... could it be that Jesus is showing us how we can be victorious against the enemy? He absolutely is showing us how to be victorious over the enemy and his lies. Whenever the enemy came at Him, He responded with The Truth that comes from The Word of God... he quoted scripture (The Truth) back to Satan. Victory over the enemy lives in the Word of God (the Scriptures). So, when the enemy comes at you, spit relevant scripture back at him just as Jesus did. Remember, however, that the enemy knows the scriptures as well, and as a result, he will try to cleverly trick you just as he tried to trick Jesus.
In conclusion, in this life, we WILL go through trials and tribulations. The enemy wants nothing more than to ‘take out’ those that follow Jesus. As a result, here is my advice to you. Know the Word of God!!! Be prepared to quote scripture in times of trials, tribulations, & temptations. Make sure you are spending daily time reading your bible and praying (the Bible says to pray continuously). Spend daily time in worship too as the enemy can’t stand to be around worship music. Play worship music in your car, in your home, on your headset, etc. as that is one way to already begin to defeat the enemy. I especially make sure to get that worship music going when temptation is trying to come my way. Always be prepared and on your guard against the enemies attacks. I’ll end with this last quote: “If you fail to prepare, then you are preparing to fail.” (Unknown Author)
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