Luke and the Lost
My grandma Lacquement raised Siamese cats to sell to an adoring cat-loving public. She loved her cats and kittens and cared for them with great affection. If it was too cold in the barn, she would bring a new litter of kittens into the house to stay warm through their weaning process until they were ready for sale. As they grew, they would playfully, lie in wait, and pounce on you at any given moment, when you least expected it.
As a child, I did not like the “surprise” attacks. And to this day, I confess, I do not like this about cats. I do not like cats. You always know where your dog is. They do not leave your side. In fact, they refuse to leave your side. There I have just divided our readership of cat vs dog lovers.
I’m not sure why this flashback occurs as I read about the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, and I am not comparing cats to the devil, but I am realizing that maybe it is the surprise attacks that I am most fearful. That is the devil’s most useful tool…to catch us off guard in a weak moment. How do we combat it? Know Jesus. Know His Word. Know Your Enemy. Know the power of the Holy Spirit living in You and together the battle is won against all temptations in this life.
The Perfect Example Resists With Truth
Luke 4, The Message
Tested by the Devil
4 1-2 Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.
3 The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: “Since you’re God’s Son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to really live.”
5-7 For the second test he led him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the Devil said, “They’re yours in all their splendor to serve your pleasure. I’m in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. Worship me and they’re yours, the whole works.”
8 Jesus refused, again backing his refusal with Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”
9-11 For the third test the Devil took him to Jerusalem and put him on top of the Temple. He said, “If you are God’s Son, jump. It’s written, isn’t it, that ‘he has placed you in the care of angels to protect you; they will catch you; you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone’?”
12 “Yes,” said Jesus, “and it’s also written, ‘Don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.’”
13 That completed the testing. The Devil retreated temporarily, lying in wait for another opportunity.
Lessons Learned from the Tempting of Jesus:
Focused Life…”Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit”
Focused Scripture…”Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy”
Focused Worship…“Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”
Focused Use of Power…”Don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.”
Wow, Truth in the Person of Jesus Christ, sets the tone and shows us how to conquer temptations that lie in wait for us. Combat “surprise attacks” by allowing God to speak through us, remain full of His Holy Spirit, and speak His Truth at just the right time, in the right Spirit, with the right Scripture. And the devil will retreat, momentarily.
Dear Heavenly Father, At first, I ask why did You allow Your Son to be tempted? Why was this necessary? And then I am overwhelmed with the perfect lessons that teach us how to combat temptations. This also tells us that Your Son when through everything we might face so that we will know how to live more wisely. Thank you, Lord. Continue to fill us with Your Holy Spirit, Your Word and Your power.
In Jesus Name, Amen