Have you ever considered the relationship between Jesus and food?
Yes, food tempted Him too!
Even though the particular food that tempted Him may have been different from ours, the struggle was real nonetheless.
Hebrews 4:15 tells us:
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
So Jesus understands what we are going through!
How Jesus responded to a food temptation gives us a great example of how we too can overcome.
Now Luke 4:1-13 tells of a story of Jesus and food.
In the wilderness, Jesus endured the devil’s temptation. He was fasting for 40 days and of course was hungry.
The first temptation the devil presented to Jesus was an appeal to His flesh: “And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
You might think: “Well, Jesus was hungry and He surely had the power to turn stones into bread. What was wrong with what Satan suggested?”
Before we assess what Satan said, let’s look at the character of the one who said it. Who is Satan again?
In John 8:44, Jesus called him the father of lies!
Here’s a good principle to follow: Before you receive any message, consider the character of the Messenger.
In John 10:10, Jesus says that Satan comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.
Jesus did not follow Satan’s voice. Instead He was filled with the Holy Spirit. As Believers in Christ, so are we!
Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Jesus did not make a move unless the Holy Spirit directed Him.
As God’s children, we should pause when we are tempted to ensure the Holy Spirit guides our actions.
Know this: The enemy wants you to act fast in the face of temptations!
When you act fast, you react to situations rather than respond to them.
Think about this: Is it better to react to a medication or respond to it?
A reaction is like having an allergic emergency, with negative consequences.
Reactions typically mean that you are acting out what you’ve always done, whether it is good for you or not.
But a response is thoughtful, considering not only what is good for you now, but what is good for you in the future.
Will yielding to temptation either steal, kill, or destroy something you care about?
If so, that is a temptation you don’t want any part of!
Get the tempting item out of your sight and do not lead yourself into temptation. It is a losing game.
The Lasting Victory
The devil also began tempting Jesus with the phrase, “If You are the Son of God…” The devil always likes to attack our identity.
He posed the question as if Jesus had something to prove. But Jesus was secure in His identity. He knew who He was and whose He was.
God wants us to be that secure of our identity in Him.
Whenever you meditate upon He who is within you, you gain strength to overcome whatever is outside of you.
However when you give more attention to what is outside of you than the One who is within you, you feel under subjection to outside forces.
So how did Jesus respond to Satan’s temptation?
“But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Luke 4:4).” Jesus quoted scripture to the enemy. That is how we should use scripture too.
God’s word is our sword, our offensive weapon!
This particular word affirms that Jesus knew something more important was at stake in the moment than gratifying His flesh.
Eating is good and God created man to enjoy the food we eat. After all, why would He bother to give us taste buds?
But there is a time and a place for everything. Jesus knew that it was not the time nor place to eat.
Scripture promises in 1 Corinthians 10:13,
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Jesus’ escape was through the Word. So the guidelines are clear.
It takes daily practice so that this response becomes second nature. But isn’t your future worth it to experience the liberty Jesus died to give you?
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1).”
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
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