We can learn a lot from the life of Jesus. In fact, if we are to be like Him, we must pay attention to what Scripture shows us about the choices He made when He took on flesh and experienced life as a human being.
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we read accounts of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness for over a month. This wilderness was a hot, arid desert with little to no vegetation. The first man (Adam) was tempted in a perfect, lush, blossoming garden. He gave into the enticements of the enemy, failing to see the immense provision that God had set all around him. The Spirit led Jesus into a dry wasteland with no physical comforts, resources, or visible provision surrounding Him. Jesus, knowing that God would supply all of His needs, came face to face with the very same enemy and beat temptation with help from His Father. Jesus redeemed Adam’s failure by choosing to stay focused on the commands and promises of His Father. This led Him to overcome, persevere, and endure temptation and the attempts of the enemy on His life.
“Love always endures” (1 Cor 13:7)
1. Remind Yourself of: His Promises!
Our circumstances do not define our ability to endure. Jesus could have chosen to be overwhelmed by the vast wasteland and evil that encircled Him. Instead, He decided to stand on the promises and to believe in the faithfulness of God.
“The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matt 4:3-4 NIV).
Search the Scriptures for the promises of God and declare them in your prayer time on a regular basis! Get them in your memory for easy access.
2. Remind Yourself of: Your Identity in Him!
There is another interesting detail in this story that is easy to miss but important to pay attention to! In all of the accounts of the temptation of Christ, we also see these words from the mouth of the enemy right before he leads into the temptation:
“If you are the Son of God…”
The enemy tried to manipulate Jesus by bringing his identity as God’s Son into question. In times of temptation, trial, and hardship, the enemy may try to attack us by attempting to cause us to question our identities. If he tried it on Jesus, you can bet that he will attempt to do the same to you and I (the devil isn’t creative, he uses the same tricks again and again).
If the enemy can convince us to agree with a false identity (i.e. “I am a loser,” “I am not good enough,” “I am a failure.”)- we may be more likely to give into temptation because we will react to the temptation presented from a place of misunderstanding who we are. We can not give the enemy this kind of attention- we must focus on our identity in Christ!
When the enemy tries to attack, remember this: Ephesians 1:5-14 says:
I am adopted as his child (1:5).
I am forgiven (1:7).
I am chosen and He makes everything in my life work out according to His plan (1:11).
He identifies me as His own (1:13).
3. Remind Yourself of: His Provision!
At the end of His time of fasting and temptation in the desert, Jesus was hungry and exhausted. Because of His obedience and persistence, God provided for Him supernaturally and deployed angels to comfort and care for Him.
“Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus” (Matt 4:11).
(Further study: Another amazing example of Jesus persevering through pain and pressure is in the Garden of Gethsemane. At the end of this experience, feeling weary and weak, God sent another angel to serve Him: “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him” (Luke 22:43).)
Just as God guided and provided supernaturally for His Son, He promises to sustain you as you endure whatever you are facing. He is positioning His angels around you!
“God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm” (Psalm 91:11 TPT).
At this point in the fast, you may be feeling weary and tired. You may feel like giving up or giving into temptations that you have decided to resist as part of this time of fasting and prayer. You may feel like the enemy is trying to attack the truth about who God says you are and convince you of lies about yourself. You may be waiting for a breakthrough for Him to provide supernaturally for you. If you continue persisting and trusting Him in this and every tough situation you find yourself in, you will see answered prayers flowing from His grace, mercy, and love!
Don’t stop! Don’t give in! You can do this!
- What are the temptations that you are facing today that you need the help of God to escape from?
- What are some lies that the enemy may be trying to whisper to you about who you are?
- In what areas of your life do you desire to see His provision? Are you willing for it to look different than you expect it to look?
Father, you are my source of provision and I believe that you will supply all that I need (Phil 4:19)! Thank you, Jesus, for showing me that it is possible to beat the enemy’s temptations. God, I am so grateful that you promise to always provide a way out for me (1 Cor 10:13)! You are so faithful. I know that I can endure whatever comes my way if I keep my eyes fixed on you. Thank you for sending angels to comfort, protect, and defend me- especially when I am weary. I know that if I continue to trust you, especially in times of testing and trial, I will see miracles in my life! I love you, Lord! Amen