In the last family devotion we had in Lagos, before I returned to Abeokuta, we did a study on Matthew 4:1-11 and I will like to share some lessons that I learnt from that Scripture. I’ll go straight to discuss the lessons but you can read the Scripture by yourself to have a better understanding.
- The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1). The only reason Jesus was led into the desert was to be tempted by the Devil.
Lesson: Sometimes, God will lead you into ‘dry seasons’ to be tempted by the devil. But remember that God does not tempt anyone, no temptation comes from God (James 1:13). God only allows the devil to tempt us, He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist and He will also provide a way out as well (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- Jesus was hungry after spending 40 days and nights without food. Then the devil came to Him and tempted Him, saying that if He is God’s son, he should order the stones to turn into bread (Matthew 4:2-3).
Lesson: The devil came to tempt Jesus when He was hungry, when He was weak in the flesh. The devil also comes to tempt us when we are weak in the flesh – when we are hungry for food, money, sex, fame, love, companionship, etc.
- The devil used Jesus weakness to tempt Him (Matthew 4:3).
Lesson: The devil uses our weaknesses to tempt us. He knows what we are hungry for and tempts us to use ungodly means to satisfy our hunger. (Please note that the hunger here is not only referring to hunger for food but to our desires, cravings and need).
- Jesus, although weak in the flesh (hungry for human food) was strong in the Spirit. He resisted the Devil using the Scripture and overcame the temptation.
Lesson: We may be weak in the flesh, but we should strive to be strong in the Spirit so that we can resist the Devil and overcome temptations.
- Jesus was hungry for food. It is not wrong for a Christian to be hungry and have cravings or desires. However, it is wrong when we use ungodly means to satisfy our hunger.
It is not wrong to be hungry for food, but it is wrong to steal food to satisfy your hunger.
It is not wrong to be hungry for money (to have a desire to have money) but it is wrong when you use dishonest means to get your money and it is wrong when you become greedy for money.
It is not wrong to be hungry for sex (to be sexually aroused) but it is wrong when you engage in sexual immorality (pornography, masturbation, homosexuality, lesbianism or pre/extra marital sex, etc.) to satisfy your sexual desire.
It is not wrong to be hungry for companionship (to have a desire to have friends, be in a relationship or get married), but it is wrong to get into an ungodly relationship, run ahead of God’s timing or settle with someone outside God’s will just to satisfy your desire.
And the list goes on.
- The devil used Jesus identity to tempt Him (Matthew 4:3, 6). “If you are God’s Son,…” Matthew 4:3 (GNB). The Devil tempted Jesus to prove His identity.
Lesson: The Devil uses our identity to tempt us. “If you’re a Christian, why are you suffering?” “If you’re a Christian, then prove it by doing this or doing that.”
You don’t have to prove your identity to the devil or to anyone. Who you are in Christ will be obvious for all to see. Don’t try to prove your identity in Christ by jumping into a relationship that is outside God’s will or accepting a job offer outside God’s will or doing anything outside God’s will.
The Devil already knows your identity. You don’t have to prove it to him. And if you’re truly in Christ, the world will also know. You don’t have to prove your identity to anyone.
- Jesus knew the scriptures and used it to fight the devil’s temptation. He was hungry but He knew that He doesn’t need food to survive but needs every word that God speaks. (Matthew 4:4).
Lesson: Food, money, fame, sex, friendship, relationship, marriage, etc. are all good but you cannot live on them alone and you can live and survive without them. But you cannot live or survive without God. You need every word that God speaks to sustain you.
We must not depend on these things alone to sustain us, but we must depend on everything that the Lord says. Also read Deuteronomy 8:3.
Whenever you are tempted to use ungodly means to satisfy your hunger for food, sex, money, fame, companionship, etc. remember that these things alone cannot sustain you. They can only give you temporary pleasure and satisfaction. Never compromise your relationship with God, purity, integrity and high moral character for temporary pleasure and satisfaction.
TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT POST