Matthew 4:3 “If You are the Son of God, COMMAND that these stones become bread.”

Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit at an appointed time to be tempted by the devil. This will also happen in our lives, there are specific seasons that we are brought into by the sovereignty of God to be proved, tested, and tempted. Remember in the book of Exodus when the Israelites were led into the wilderness, let’s look at the reasons:

Deuteronomy 8:2 “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

Obedience is what it really comes down to, whether we do the will of the Father or fulfill our own desires. Humility is the first step of obedience, or some say that true humility is doing the will of God. Since to be humble, requires an act of our will.

Philippians 2:8 “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

When we are in a place of humility we can receive the grace of God (James 4:6), which is the power and ability of God which we cannot produce in our own strength. The temptations that the devil throws at us cannot be overcome in our own strength, they are overcome by the grace of God. You can strive with all your might and even quote scripture, but the flesh is weak and will succumb to the temptation. Take a look at these verses.

Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”

1 John 2:14 “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

2 Corinthians 10:3,4 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”

The Lord even will prove to you how weak your flesh really is. I remember in my life their were seasons where the devil was attacking my mind with fear, worry, condemnation, and unbelief, I decided to do more, like pray and read the bible more, but I came to a point where striving with all my might still caused me to be defeated. Why? I was trying to overcome the devil with my own willpower, human resolution, and self-effort. I was actually living under Old Testament principles. The Old Testament was all about self-effort, that everything is up to me to overcome, while the New Testament is a covenant of grace, overcoming by the power of the Holy Spirit. Seasons like this that I was going through are known as being sifted as wheat, meaning the Lord was allowing the devil to sift my flesh, to weaken me and humble me. At the end of the season, I was put in a position to receive the grace of God, since I was humbled, where I now could overcome the temptations. We need to be careful that after we overcome that we are not puffed up with pride, because this whole cycle will begin again.

The temptation that Jesus faced were very important, since He  needed to overcome these temptations in order to go the cross. If He failed anyone of these, he would of never had the power to go to the cross, since He would of chose His will above the will of the Father. The first temptation that Jesus was attacked with had to do with fulfilling the desires of His flesh. Jesus was under a fast for 40 days, therefore His flesh wanted to be fulfilled, thus eating food. So what is temptation? Does God tempt man? Let’s head to the book of James to find the answer.

James 1:12-15 “ Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

  1.  Overcoming temptation takes an endurance, meaning we need to suffer in the flesh to our will, desires, and way for the will of God.
  2. There is great joy in overcoming temptation, we will receive a reward from the Lord, the crown of life. Fulfilling the lusts of the flesh is just temporal and will pass away, but receiving the crown of life will never pass away and will be in our possess forever. Pretty deep if you ask me!
  3. Loving the Lord will cause us to overcome temptation, if we truly love the Lord we will follow His counsel.
  4. Since God is perfect in holiness, He can’t be tempted with evil.
  5. God does not tempt people to sin, rather it is being drawn away by our own desires.

You might ask the question, well I thought Jesus was God, so why was He tempted? Because Jesus was also the Son of Man, meaning Jesus had His own will that needed to be submitted to the will of the Father. The will of the Father was not to partake of the bread, but rather suffer in the flesh by fasting from food. The devil was trying to bring confusion to the heart of Jesus, by saying “If you are the Son of God”, meaning the devil was telling Jesus, why do you need to suffer your’e the Son of God? Use your power as the Son of God for yourself. Jesus had to humble Himself of His rights and authority and be obedient to what the Father wanted Jesus to do. Jesus understood that doing the will of Father will sometimes require suffering in the flesh. We later see that Jesus did miraculously just use 5 loaves to feed thousands of people, which was the will of the Father. That is why it is important for use to be in step with the Spirit, because the Lord moves differently. Just as the Lord was tempted by the devil, so His followers will be tempted in the same manner. It is important to understand that the Lord didn’t have a different flesh than us.

Hebrews 2:17,18 “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God,  to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

This truth is important, because the Lord knows what we are going through when we are tempted. For this reason, the Lord will be merciful and faithful to us amidst a temptation. The other side is the Lord overcome every temptation by the devil, thus we ourselves can tap into the power of God if we are humble. Again, we see from verse 18, that temptation is a form of suffering, since we have to put to death our flesh that rises up. A popular wind of doctrine known as “name it claim it” has swept through the land, where you command the Lord to meet your own desires. We want to command the Lord to do this or that for us. The same lie that the devil told Jesus in turning the stone into bread is infiltrating the church, no suffering, no obedience, no picking up your cross, no  trials, no trouble, no self-denial, hey your’e a son of God, just command these things away and live for yourself. Be careful, when you are going through a trial, the devil is quick to point to people around you that are living suffering free. The point of this trial is to attack the integrity of the Lord. Let’s look at the response of Jesus to the devil. Let us finish up with the response that Jesus gave.

Matthew 4:4 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

The words “It is written”, shows us that Jesus was using the counsel of the Lord rather than going by His own desires, wisdom or emotions. We need to make decision that are align with the word of God rather than our own personal feelings. To overcome this temptation we must be totally dependent on the Father, which is really trust. Are you going to fulfill the your own desires or do the will of the Father?

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.

1 Corinthians 10:13