I have preaching on Christ’s temptation by the devil in Matthew 4. One major difference between His temptation and that of ours is that the Lord was directly tempted by the devil himself. Since the devil is not omnipresent it is very likely that you and I have never nor may ever be tempted directly by Satan himself. It is true that the devil has an enormous number of angels–perhaps hundreds of thousands. Yet neither are they omnipresent and with over 6 billion people now in the world, they still are not able to be directly involved in the temptation of all people all the time.
However there are many similarities between Christ’s temptation and ours. First we face the same battle as Christ did. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV). Although we may not face Satan directl, we still face a fierce battle so we had better put on the full armor of God every day all day! “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (Ephesians 6:14-17, ESV).
Secondly, we have the same choice. We have the same choice Christ did of either sticking to the right path and worshiping God or distrusting God and trying to win the victories our own way. We have to answer the same question that Joshua posed to his generation: ”And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”” (Joshua 24:15, ESV). Our choice is this: whom will we serve: the devil, the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life OR Christ?
Thirdly, we can have the same victory! ”No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV). We can have the same victory because we have the same offensive weapon that Christ wielded in this battle and we have the same Spirit within us. So let us “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (Ephesians 6:17, ESV).
We must know this Word, word for word. If Jesus knew it and used it, how much more must we.
Are you using the sword of the Spirit in your battle against temptation? I have seen many swords in my life and you probably have as well? But do we want to know how many of those swords I have actually used? None! Most of them are collections that other people own. Some were hanging on walls, others in museums. But here you have the sword of the Spirit! This sword, to do me any good, must belong to me and must be used by me.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13, ESV).
Let’s use this sword of the Spirit in our temptations just like Christ did in his. They speak to the every need of the human heart and mind. So use them generously!
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