4,7,10 "But He answered, “It is written ..."
Matthew 4:4,7,10 (ESV)
To feel prepared for a test, we go to class, take notes, spend time reviewing the material, and maybe even attend an office hour or two to clarify difficult concepts with the professor. Though we can’t be certain of the exact questions we will see on the tests, we have a relatively good idea (most of the time), so we aren’t completely surprised.
We do the same in preparation for games. We study film, watch personnel, walk through opponent’s plays. Sure, they can add a play or two before the game, but their basic tendencies and strengths won’t change, and we are ready for them.
But what kind of pre work do we do for life? Surely we will be tempted, pleaded with and strongly persuaded to do things: some positive and healthy; others detrimental and spiritually dangerous.
These struggles may be common to all or unique to who we are, but they will come! How do we prepare for them? How do we decipher true, weight-carrying promises from ones that fail and are empty?
Let's start with this: God the Creator of all – our Professor, if you will – wrote a Textbook, the Bible. It’s a Book containing information on what is truth and how we should live, a Book we can read, learn from, study and memorize. Jesus knows what's in this Book ... do we?
It is God's Word that Jesus knows, believes and trusts in to combat temptations directly from Satan himself! Satan attacked Jesus' basic need of hunger, twisted God's Word (like he did in the garden with Eve!), and offered a false shortcut to glory that would bypass the Father’s plan for Jesus’ life and avoid the pain of the cross.
Satan wasn’t on his B game here, he was throwing his very best at Jesus. But unlike Adam and Eve, Jesus prevailed! Jesus responded each time with God-sanctioned truth. Jesus knew Whom He could trust and whom He couldn't.
Jesus knew what God said through the Scriptures. He knew God's Word would illuminate His path clearly (Psalm 119:105); and that God's Word is the sword to be used for battle against the evil one (Ephesians 6:17).
Temptations will come. Satan knows our weaknesses and easiest points of attack.
Reflect: Am I ready? Am I following Jesus’ lead and equipped with the Word of God as a sword? Am I spending time in His Word regularly? Meditating on it? Memorizing it? What are my weaknesses? What promise from God's Word can I lean on to fight that temptation?
CHALLENGE: Make a list of promises to combat your most frequent temptations, and commit to memorize them! Share with a close friend, challenge them to do the same! Hold each other accountable.