As we walk this path, it is important to recognize temptation…what it looks like, when it is likely to come and what to do about it.

The text for today’s lesson is Luke 4:1-13. It happens to be what my pastor preached on this past Sunday. So my notes and thoughts about this lesson are mingled with thoughts about the message from Sunday. I get the impression that God wants me to GET THIS! 🙂

From the passage, we can pull out (especially if we really dig or stretch things) that we are most likely to be tempted:
1.) …when undertaking serious kingdom work – I would add to this any time we want to surrender to the Lord in some way…especially when there has been a stronghold (this is not what the Luke passage is about, but it applies).
2.) …when alone
3.) …when physically depleted (v. 3, 4)
4.) …when materially depleted (5 – 8)…this is one that the pastor spoke about and I won’t elaborate here, but I think when we are feeling in some way like we haven’t gotten what we are “due” in some way or feeling “ripped off” or like we have “less than” someone else…the enemy is likely to hone in on us when we lack gratitude and contentment…
5.) …when spiritually depleted.

When we have had a pretty terrific spiritual experience or “high” …we may also be vulnerable. Mike Cleveland (the author of The Lord’s Table) references this in the parallel passage in Matthew 4 which indicates that Jesus had just received audible affirmation that he was aproved of by the Father at his baptism.

Satan’s design is for us to give in and disobey rather than to resist and offer our bodies a livign sacrifice; to indulge our flesh rather than crucify it. (TLT, p. 52)

More notes from the lesson on the passage:

He [Satan] wants us to doubt our relationship with God and to become independent of Him in meeting our own needs. (TLT, p. 52)

The devil hates anything requiring humility and dependence upon God and loves to tell us of our own self-sufficiency. (TLT, p. 52)

To apply this teaching, you and I have a desire for fellowship and satisfaction and God promises to supply our every need. Will you believe Him and find your fullness in Him? Or will you believe the lie of the devil that says stuffing yourself full of ofod will meet your desire for fullness? (TLT, p. 52)

How to resist temptation and overcome–from Pastor Mike Earnst’s message…Follow Jesus’ example:
1.) Be dependent on the Holy Spirit
2.) Be saturated with Scripture
3.) Be sustained by prayer and fasting

I can spout off scripture til the cows come home, but is God’s Word really at home in my heart and life? Am I saturated in it? When you “squeeze” me, is that what comes out?

Scripture takes up residence in the heart only through obedience – Psalm 111:10. (TLT, p. 52)

Satan is after our worship!

Notice how Jesus warded off this assault and conquered the enemy:
1.) WIth abhorrence and detestation (see also Matt 4:10). If we are ever going to win this battle against overeating we must ask God to give us a holy detestation of it, as we cannot bear the thought of it. How can we defile His temple, our bodies, in such a way?
2.) With scripture…when dealing with fierce and intense temptatinos, answer from scripture and answer in brief. (TLT p. 53)

A couple more quotes from this lesson…this is another one that makes having the workbook so worth while!!!

Satan used scripture to try to get Jesus to sin. He does the same with us.

Please get this principle. The devil will throw all kinds of Scripture our way to get us to sin against God by giving in to our flesh: I will forgive your sins and remember your wickedness no more (Jer. 31:34), All manner of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven among men (Matt. 12:31), Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35), The evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing (Romans 7:15), If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9)…and so on. How do we know it is the devil using Scripture and not our own minds? If that scripture is being used to lure us into sin, it is coming from the evil one. (TLT, p. 53)

This is an IMPORTANT point! Of course, these scriptures are true and we get reassurance from them when we *have* been disobedient, but they should NEVER be used to justify a sinful choice! We want to grieve over our sin and turn to the Lord and His Word in our repentance, prevailing on the truth of these scriptures through tears and heartbreak. NOT when we are thinking it through and pondering walking headlong into sin with those scriptures helping us along…NO!

How can we win against temptations? As Jesus did: by humble dependence upon God to meet our desire for fullness, by resisting the onslaughts of temptation, and by feeding upon every word of God and obeying what we read. (TLT p. 53)

Summary: We are prone to temptations after a spiritually exhilarating experience or victory, when we are alone, when we are feeling depleted. Be aware and know when YOU are more prone to temptation! We can fight it with the power of God and with scripture. We WILL win as we follow the example of Christ in his humble dependence on the Lord and his weilding of the Sword of the Spirit.