How To Fight Temptation – Matthew 4

 Reflections on my reading from Matthew 4 in the One Year New Testament.

Being Tempted is NOT a Sin

Jesus was tempted and the Bible is very clear that he never sinned. The fact that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted is significant. This proves that, though God does not tempt us, he can allow temptation to come into our lives to strengthen us.  Jesus was led into the desert right before his ministry. Often we are led through the desert before God leads us to a time of fruitfulness.

HALT

Often temptation comes when we are:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

Jesus was hungry from a 40 day fast, lonely as the wild beasts were his only companions and tired from the heat. Like a lion who preys on the weakest gazelle, the devil knew that if he was going to get him he had to wait until Jesus was at his weakest. That’s why Peter warns us:

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8 

We should HALT and be on guard when we realize we are weak physically or emotionally so we don’t fall into temptation.

Use Your Sword

Three times when tempted, Jesus used scripture (all from Deuteronomy) to fight temptation.

“But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4 

God’s word was Jesus’ offensive and defensive weapon against the devil’s schemes. Paul instructs us to,

“take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Ephesians 6:17 

Jesus specifically used verses that he had memorized. Personally, nothing in my life has helped me fight temptation more than the verses I have memorized. Think about it, when was the last time you were tempted when you had your Bible open?

Don’t go to battle unarmed! Bring Your Sword.

No Condemnation

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8:1

One of Satan’s tricks is to get you to feel guilty for being tempted. Being tempted is not a sin. Giving in to the temptation is a sin. Jesus was tempted in all kinds of ways, and you will be too. Here’s a comforting verse to leave you with.

“This High Priest of ours [That’s Jesus!] understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.”  Hebrews 4:15

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About David Worcester

I am the founder and director of a campus ministry at San Diego State called Challenge. I am also serving as an ordained elder at Mission Trails Church. I love speaking and writing about college ministry, gospel appointments, and practical ways to live out God’s Word! I am also passionate about: leadership training, learning, missions, church planting, surfing, hiking, sports, photography and traveling (So far I’ve visited 23 countries & all 50 states). I’m married to Jessica Worcester who I fell in love with while doing college ministry together and we have a two year old son named Samuel. I graduated from from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a degree in Film & Video Studies. And I received my Masters in Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary. I am an ordained minister who loves speaking and writing about practical ways to live out God’s Word in life and ministry.

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