In Mathew 4 we read of Jesus victory over temptation. Satan approaches Jesus at the end of a 40 day fast, in solitude, in the wilderness. Satan thinks he sees an opportunity. Satan is coming to Christ in what appears to him as a moment of weakness. If you’ve ever read the account, then you know Christ overcame, Christ was the victor. If you are a believer Christ victory is your victory. Christ has overcome the evil one, Jesus is our way of escape when we face temptation. John tells us “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8c). We need to cling to Christ at all times because we never know when Satan will tempt us. But how do we cling to Christ? How do remain in a stance ready for battle? I believe there are some principles we can glean from Christ here in Mathew 4.
Be Led By The Spirit
The opening words of Mathew 4 are “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit”. Before Jesus was tempted He was walking in the Spirit. Years later Paul would write “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). I want to be clear I am not saying if Jesus wasn’t led by the Spirit he would have sinned. What I am saying is if you are not walking in the Spirit, you will sin. There are several passages in the Bible urging us to walk, be led, be filled with the Spirit because if we are not we will fall. Be filled with the Spirit is being filled with His Word and walking in it. But how do we do that? Christ showed us how, through the spiritual disciplines or as David Mathis calls them habits of grace.
Practice the Spiritual Disciplines
When we read the Gospels we see Jesus practiced habits of grace. In Matthew 4 we see Jesus fasting, throughout the Gospels we see Jesus withdrawing from the crowd for moments of solitude and prayer. Jesus prayer life stirred in the disciples a desire to pray like Jesus, so the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). Jesus desired the Scripture from his youth and desired to be at the temple (Luke 2:46-47). Jesus practiced spiritual disciplines.
If Jesus practiced the spiritual disciplines, how much more do we need to? The habits of grace in themselves do not give you the strength to overcome, but they are the avenue we commune with our Father and He funnels his grace to us. We become more like Christ when we pray, read the Word, fast, fellowship with other believers at church. Through the habits of grace we are strengthened, renewed, revived. We can not expect to overcome temptation if we never practice the habits of grace.
Until Next Time
Soli Deo Gloria