A quick word on temptation might not sound very uplifting. But, then again, if you’re presently in the thick of things, with temptation buzzing around your head like a swarm of gnats, this might be a cool drink of water—or a fly swatter; whichever works better.
While recently reading the account of Jesus temptation in Matthew 4, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before. While it’s true Jesus quoted Scripture to refute the enemy in each situation, He also used information about God the Father He knew through relationship with Him.
Take a look at the first scenario: the devil taunts a hungry Jesus to prove His divinity by commanding stones to become bread. But Jesus, armed with prior relational knowledge, knows His real sustenance comes from the Father.
With the second scenario, the devil again uses the, “If you are the Son of God,” prod, but now attaches it to a go-jump-off-a-cliff-type dare. And the Lord Jesus responds that He doesn’t have to test the parameters of the His Father’s protection. He already knows He is perfectly cared for.
Then with the devil’s final attempt, he goes for the jugular—worship me. And Jesus doesn’t hesitate because He already knows how God the Father feels about it: not a chance!
So, with each attempt of the devil to illicit an action, Jesus is able to confidently answer, “I won’t do that because I know this about God.”
Now, what about us? Do we want to overcome the enemy? Then, we need to stay close to the One who has conquered him. And in the intimacy of our relationship with God, we’re armed to the teeth and able to swat whatever is dive-bombing us, be it gnat or nuclear warhead.