Stinging WordsHow have you experienced emotional or spiritual captivity?
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[Jesus] was tempted by the devil for forty days (v.2).
I was driving down a busy road when an 8-foot icecream
cone approached in the oncoming traffic lane
and then sailed past me. I blinked and checked my
rearview mirror. The towering tribute to mint chocolate
chip, an advertisement for a local restaurant, definitely
tempted my sweet tooth!
No stranger to temptation, Jesus challenged His
followers to stay alert and pray so that they would not
give in to it (Matthew 26:41). He also reminded them
that although “the spirit is willing . . . the body is weak.”
Jesus knew all about the weakness of our physical
bodies, having endured a time of solitude and fasting in
the wilderness (Luke 4:2). After 40 days of hunger, He was
challenged by Satan to change a stone into bread. But
Jesus used Scripture to resist the devil’s ploy (v.4).
Satan tried another tactic: lying. After showing Jesus
all the world’s kingdoms, he said, “I will give you the
glory of these kingdoms and authority over them . . .
because they are mine” (v.6). Huh? I don’t think so. Jesus
is and was clearly in charge of the world (Colossians
1:16). Consider what He said about Satan and his lying
ways (John 8:44).
Still, Satan exaggerated his power to try to coax
Jesus into worshiping him. God’s Son resisted, saying:
“You must worship the Lord your God” (Luke 4:8). After
another failed attempt, Satan “left Him until the next
opportunity came” (v.13).
Satan is always looking for His next chance to tempt us as well (1 Peter
5:8). That’s why we need to guard against weakness and isolation through
accountability with fellow believers. We can also memorize Scripture that will
help us face and defeat temptation. Then we’ll be equipped to resist the devil
and send him packing (James 4:7).
—Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Why is temptation often more intense when we’re alone? Why do we
sometimes give in to it, even when we have a clear view of right and
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