We are more than physical creatures with physical needs. Notice in most prayer meetings that you’ll hear requests for God to help with the tangible needs. That’s fine, except it often ends there.
We don’t always realize how desperate our need is for truth beyond the tangible.
The trouble is, when we face temptation, our challenge is anything but physical—even when the temptation appeals to a physical needs or desires.
Overcoming temptation begins long before temptation.
Jesus shows us how.
When Jesus Was Tempted
In preparation for Jesus’ temptation in the Judean Wilderness, He fasted for more than a month—and He became very hungry.
Just east of this locale, across the Jordan River in the Plains of Moab, Moses had penned the Scriptures that Jesus would use in response to Satan’s temptations.
- Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8, a passage in which Moses reminded Israel how God had tested them during their 40 years in the wilderness in order to know what was in their hearts.
- The Lord allowed them to hunger as well, and then He fed them with manna. All this He did to teach them, as Jesus quoted, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).
Every temptation Christ endured took place at a different location and had a different motivation, but Jesus’ reaction remained the same:
It is written . . .
It’s worth noting that Jesus had prepared for many years for this moment of temptation. He didn’t carry a smartphone or a Bible Concordance around to look up verses on the spot. Jesus had passages from the Bible memorized.
When We Are Tempted
Like Jesus, overcoming temptation begins long before temptation begins. Daily Bible reading and memorization remain essential preparation if we are to remain ready for overcoming temptation.
Satan tempts at opportune times of vulnerability and need. In those moments, we must remember:
- Temptation always offers to fulfill a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. Regret always follows.
- What temptation offers, it takes back exponentially, for its benefits invest only in our destruction.
Christ’s response shows us that regardless of the nature of our temptations today, the Word of God holds the truth we must draw from if we are to succeed in overcoming temptation.
We are more than physical beings. We need the Word of God for life.
When temptation squeezes, Scripture should spill out.