"Man shall not live by bread alone" Matthew 4:1-11

Do you ever feel compelled or driven to do something radical for God? Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to spend forty days and nights in prayer and fasting in a lonely place. Why was he compelled to seek solitude for such a lengthy time? Was it simply a test to prepare him for his ministry or did Satan want to draw him into a trap? The scriptural word here means test in the sense of proving and purifying someone to see if they are ready for the task at hand. We test pilots to see that they are fit to fly. Likewise, God tests his servants to see if they are fit to be used by him. God tested Abraham to prove his faith. The Israelites were truly tested in Egypt before God delivered them from their enemies. Jesus was no exception to this testing. Satan will surely tempt us and will try his best to get us to choose our will over God's will. If he can't make us renounce our faith or sin mortally, he will then try to get us to make choices that will lead us, little by little, away from what God wants for us. Jesus was tempted like us and he overcame, not by his own human strength, but by the grace and strength which his Father gave to him. He had to renounce his will for the will of his Father. He succeeded because he wanted to please his Father and he trusted that his Father would give him the strength to overcome the obstacles that stood in the way. Luke says that Jesus was "full of the Holy Spirit" (Luke 4:1). When tempted by the devil, Jesus did not try fighting his enemy on his own human strength. He relied on the power which the Spirit gave him. Jesus came to overthrow the evil one who held us captive to sin and fear of death. His obedience to his Father's will and his willingness to embrace the cross reversed the curse of Adam's disobedience. His victory over sin and death won for us not only pardon for our sins, but adoption as sons and daughters of God. How can we overcome sin and oppression in our personal lives? The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit to be our strength, guide,  and consoler in temptation and testing. The Lord Jesus is ever ready to pour out his Spirit upon us that we may have the strength and courage to resist sin and to reject the lies and deceits of our enemy Satan. God wants us to '"fight the good fight of the faith" with the power and strength which comes from the Holy Spirit. Do you rely on the Lord for your strength and help?

Posted on March 5, 2017 .