August 03, 2014

Battling Temptation

Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: &lsquoWorship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
—Matthew 4:10


The eternal destiny of hundreds of millions of people hung on the outcome of this personal battle between Jesus and the devil.

Our first parents, representatives of the human race, had listened to the devil’s flattering, deceiving words. The resulting rebellion against God’s command had ravaged his good earth with every twisted form of evil and sin: murder, immorality, greed, corruption, lies, arrogance, war, disaster, death. God’s plan for saving his world involved sending his Son to become another human, another representative, who would rescue his people from sin and evil and give them life and love.

Satan, of course, totally opposed this. His plan: attack this Son of God and subvert his commitment to God’s will. What did Jesus use in this lonely place to overcome the devil’s temptations? He used the Word of God. Jesus declared three times, “It is written … ,” referring back to passages in the Old Testament law. Even those small parts of God’s Word were sufficient to defeat Satan, and he retreated.

Satan cannot tempt Jesus anymore, but he is still working on us. What better weapon can we use than “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17)?

Lord Jesus, “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God!” (Psalm 119:114-115). Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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