Athlete, Stand Firm

PLAYBOOK DEVOTIONAL

Athlete, Stand Firm

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Joel Pfahler

Luke 4:13 (ESV)

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

“Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.” Matthew 4:11

A false start in sports is never a good thing. The consequence in football is a five-yard penalty. Track sprinters and swimmers who false start are immediately disqualified.

If Jesus were an athlete, He would be ready to compete by standing firm on God’s Word.

In Luke 4:1-12 Jesus provides an example to His followers on how to resist the devil’s tempting by knowing Scripture and living it. Note that James, Peter and Paul each exhorted Christ-followers to “stand firm” (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9; Ephesians 6:11).

The keys to resisting temptation are 1) being filled with (empowered by) the Holy Spirit and 2) living according to God’s Word. Do you know God’s Word well enough to recall it and live by it throughout each day?

Most importantly, love is our motivation for obeying God’s commands (John 14:15).

When the devil was done tempting Jesus, “He departed from Him until an opportune time.” The devil looks for opportune moments to attack.

Though we may not notice, the devil remains active. Paul warns in Ephesians 4:27 to not give the devil “a foothold,” and Peter teaches in 1 Peter 5:8 that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Matthew’s Gospel records angels ministering to Jesus. Scholars believe their ministering probably included some kind of physical sustenance. The devil tempted Jesus to create food for Himself (Luke 4:3), but God sent angels to provide.

Jesus demonstrates in this passage that He is the perfect example for us. He would make the perfect team captain. He is the sinless Savior. Through His example, we can fight the devil’s schemes.

Because He conquered sin, He makes us conquerors of sin.

With Jesus’ help, heed Paul’s command to “take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11).

Further Reading: James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:9

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