Temptation is a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment, that threatens long-term goals.
One of the many ways that the enemy gets hold of us is through temptation. He uses his sneaky ways to creep up into our lives to try and destroy the plans of God for our future. But the scripture tells us to resist him and he will flee away from us [James 4:7].
Temptation is a moment in time of trail that we go through where we have a choice of either being faithful or unfaithful to God. It is a desire where the devil tries to exchange our long-term enjoyment for his short-term temporary enjoyment.
At some stage of our lives, we will all be tempted in some way, but what we do before, during, and after our temptation is what matters. We can be tempted in different ways and different forms. Our trials of temptation can come from anything but mainly from our weakness. Sometimes it’s a trail to see whether we are ready to move on to the next stage of our lives and in some cases, God will allow us to go through certain trials to test our faith in Him and to test the depth of our hearts.
Luke chapter 4 looks at how Jesus was been tempted by the devil during His time in the wilderness [Luke 4: 1-2]. We will take a closer look at certain verses that will help us to explain how the devil can tempt us, what we must do before, during, and after temptation.
Before you read further I advise that you read Luke chapter 4 verses 1- 13.
‘He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them, he was hungry.
The devil saw what state Jesus was in and wanted to use that opportunity to bring Him down.
The devil will target us and then attack at the state of our weakness. If we look further into this; ‘Hungry’ is a state where we feel or show the need for food. At this stage, the body can be weak, depending on how long you have been without food.
Let’s look at this in spiritual terms. Our body can be weak in spiritual food and that is when the enemy tends to attack. But that’s where preparation is key! For example, if you had prepared food before you leave for a long journey, you will save yourself the stress and energy when you come back from that journey. All you need to do is heat up the food and eat. It’s the same with us, the more we equip ourselves daily with the Word of God when we are weak, what we have already prepared in our heart and mind will be what will serve us in our time of weakness! Take time to reflect on that.
‘And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please.
The devil was willing to ‘give’. This is the foundation of his character. He will entice you with what he can give you temporarily, hiding what he will gain in return. The only thing he has to offer and ‘give’ you are things of this world. He will give you things in replace for your soul. Your purpose, future, peace, and life in exchange for your soul. It’s like swapping your life for an idea of materialistic happiness. Whatever the devil ‘gives’ you, will ALWAYS ALWAYS be temporary. There’s no long-term peace or joy to what he can ever give you.
The devil was willing to ‘give’ but Jesus knew exactly what His mission and purpose were. Jesus knew that He wasn’t sent on earth to receive but only to serve. He knew that He wasn’t sent on earth to receive anything from anyone but rather to lay himself down for us. That will always be the difference between the devil and Jesus. The devil has an agenda to give material earthly ‘things’ in exchange for our joy, peace, and our soul but, Jesus came to sacrifice Himself to save our souls.
Both have one thing in common, they are after our souls. But the difference is that one wants to destroy (devil) our soul and the other wants to save it (Jesus).
‘Glory and all this authority’
There’s an authority over every kingdom on earth and every kingdom has its glory. That’s why we must pray for our country and ask God that the glory of our country will not be taken over by the devil and his gang.
I give it to anyone I please
This is how the devil gets through to us. That’s how he comes into our minds, twist the wrong to seems right, and holds us captive. What a snake!
“If you then, will worship me, it will be yours.”
So, let’s get this straight, the devil is offering Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, it’s glory and authority in exchange for Jesus to worship him, to bow down to him, and to be his servant for his throne. What an absolute joker!
The devil was offering Jesus everything He already had in exchange for Jesus to abandon his mission, to abandon us and leave us to live life in Satan’s kingdom.
I mean, imagine if Jesus didn’t accomplish his purpose? Can you even imagine how life would have been like since the time of Jesus? Imagine if Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us.
Oh, how grateful we ought to be for what He did for us on that faithful day on the cross. He did it all FREE OF CHARGE AND WITHOUT PENALTY. And before He did it, He didn’t ask us for anything in return! It was after He did it that He ONLY ASKED US TO BELIEVE HIM SO WE CAN HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. Just imagine how life would have been without the blood of Jesus, hell would have celebrated for many years.
- Jesus’ response to the devil;
The way Jesus responded to the devil was due to his many years of preparation, His purpose, and the anointing over Him. Read [Luke 2:52] & [Luke 2:40]
As Luke discovered explained, preparation is key! It’s the key to patience and winning victory over the enemy. The biggest thing that struck me from this verse was the fact that Jesus didn’t start praying against the words that the devil was saying. He just started reminding the devil and quoting what the Word of God had said.
The devil will always be a tempter. He tempted Jesus with words of juicy affirmation trying to promise Him that he can give him everything he thought was going to be what Jesus needed. But, the devil did not know who he was talking with. When he saw that Jesus wasn’t yielding to his words and his faults promises, he then asked Jesus to show him what he can do since He wasn’t budging to his words. He was asking Jesus to show what authority and power he has to compare if its bigger and much more than what he was offering Him.
We can see the sneakiness of the devil here. The only thing he likes to do is compare! He likes to fill our minds by comparing our abilities, talents, gifts, and our identity with others. He does this all through our minds and he will do it with everyone, including you! Besides, he did it with Jesus.
I solely love the responses Jesus gave the devil. [Luke 4:8 &10]. Jesus started by saying ‘it is written’. By saying this, He is recalling the words of God, reminding Him who rules this world and the Master of every creature and everything here on earth.
This is how we must strive to be. We must constantly remind the devil of the Words of God that have already been spoken over our lives. That’s all the devil has to hear, and he’ll run fleeing away from you!
This verse is an example that what we say with our mouth carries power and sometimes we don’t have to shout it out, we just have to say it boldly and confidently, reassuring and informing the devil that Jesus got us regardless of what he wants us to think or believe.
We must take control over the directions that the enemy wants us to think by reminding our thoughts and minds of who we truly are in Christ.
Jesus’ response carries peace, gentleness, confidence in who He is, what His mission on the earth was, and still is, who His father is and who it is that’s talking through Him. The devil has a way of sneaking into our lives, but it is up to us to be alert, vigilant ad prepared for what we will say back to him.
God, the devil and you are the only ones who know where your area of weakness is and what you lack faith in. Now, I would encourage you to get a piece of paper and write down Bible verses that correspond to where you need strength in and where you need to be lifted in Spirit. Write as many scriptures as you want, that resonates with your situation. Repeatedly reassure yourself with it every day especially during days that the force of the enemy seems to be stronger than your spirit.
God is listening to your words and so is the devil. You are the only person that can permit who you want to have the final say in your life.
At times the devil will start filling your head with things that he wants you to believe that you need and that you cannot live without.
Just when you are about to reach your purpose, Satan will come to tempt you and offer you an alternative (quitting) for the joy of your victory. Don’t listen to Him. He just needs to hear the promises God gave you out of your mouth and as bold and confident as you can say it to him.
As mentioned, temptation will happen to everyone but it’s very important to know what to do before, during and after. So, here are a few things you can do and meditate on to help you.
Before: Prepare yourself as if the devil is everywhere. Always pray and always read the word of God to equip you in words to say when the enemy attacks. Allow the Holy Spirit in you to be FULLY active, working with Him to coordinate your life and the direction of your thinking. Be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to changes in your mind and people who come in and out of your life. Most importantly, have your heart right with God. Repent of any sin.
During: Be calm, do not worry or be afraid. Remember who you are and your identity. Remember the promises God gave you [Write it out where you can see it]. Never lose your focus on God. Be confident in the word of God and keep declaring the word even at times when you don’t feel like doing so. [Remember, feelings are just temporary]. Use Christian resources to feed your spirit in times when you find it hard to pray [ Online video preaching or Audiotapes, fellowship with other Christians etc ]. Talk with people who are strong in faith that can pray with you. Fast, if your strength can take it. Be aware of the season of temptation [Sometimes it may be hard to know, so talk to God]. Keep on talking to God, even in small sentences, He hears every word.
After: Keep praying. Talk to God. Ask God questions about the temptation if you don’t understand why you went through it. Reflect, think about what you went through and reflect on the lesson that was in it [ There will always be a lesson in every temptation, and the more you have the same temptation the more signals you have to be aware of, that God is telling you that you haven’t yet learned from it]. Listen to what God is saying. Ask God what to do. Share your victory testimony when you overcome any temptation. [ Your testimony can win souls for Christ, so share it as much as you can]
If you have somehow fallen into temptation and can’t seem to get out of it or don’t know what to do. I will advise you to have a conversation with God. Sit down or go for a walk and talk things out with God. Pour out everything on your heart. What it is that is going on, the temptation you’re in, how you think you got yourself into it, etc. And once you’ve done that, ask God to forgive you and ask for the next step to take. Ask Him for direction, He WILL SURELY give you the answer!
If you don’t know what’s going on in your life but you feel like something is not right, then you need to bring yourself and your case to God. Accepting Jesus into your life is the best thing you’ll ever do. If you are willing to have God work in your life and change your life and direct it in the way it should go, then simply say this prayer with all your heart;
“Lord Jesus, I am ready to give you a chance in my life. I am sorry for all my sins and I want to build my foundation in you. I welcome you into my heart and my life. Lord, come and have your way in me. God, I thank you for the love you have for me and the blood you shed for me on the cross. I am ready to follow you and I will not look back”. In Jesus Name. Amen
Welcome to the family of God. This is the best decision you’ll ever make!