While we believe in Christ, the most frequent question we face in this world is that “are you a child of God?” This question can come from someone we know or from our own conscience when we face untoward happenings in our lives. It creates doubts within us regarding the stand we have taken in Christ. We are vulnerable because when we look at the aspect of blessing we compare it with others but when it comes to suffering we look at it in isolation. When we suffer we get disconnected from others and torment ourselves thinking that we are the only one who face these challenges. Knowing our weakness, Bible says that
“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.” Corinthians 10:13
Temptation of Jesus
About forty days after God opened up the skies proclaiming that Jesus is His Son, Satan placed Jesus in the same platform and challenged Him to prove his sonship to God. Jesus was well aware of His relationship with His father and there were no doubts in his mind. If we have the assurance of forgiveness of our sins, we too will be confident in our relationship with God.
Temptation for Common People
Satan asked Him to turn the stone into bread in order to fill His stomach. Nothing is impossible for Jesus except taking into account Satan’s suggestion. He loves to hear the suggestion of His father. Satan knew that Jesus was hungry. Satan knows our weaknesses and they are his thresholds. Jesus was in fellowship with His father all alone for forty days and the Father sustained Him with His words. This proven experience of Jesus, recalled the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness who were eating the manna from heaven. They did not have time and place to cultivate as they were moving forward towards the Promised Land.
Jesus answered, It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Sometimes food and medicines are not able to bring forth its result. At that point of time, only the word of God can help us. If we look at this temptation in the present context, it is a desire to acquire things in an improper manner. Jesus’ death on the cross in lieu of our sins is taken for granted by some.
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ – Matthew 25:23
Someone once gave an explanation to the verse given above saying, God is asking us to have little faith and that God does not expect us to be truthful in all the walks of your life. Jesus asks us to be faithful even in little things but never asks us to be of little faith. Instead Jesus rebuked people for their little faith. This illustration helps us understand how Satan is using God’s word to prevent people from true repentance.
Temptation for People of God
Satan understood that Jesus is using the word of God to guard Himself. So he came with the word of God to deceive Jesus. Satan asked Jesus to go for a test run. Jump from the high point of the temple,
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Psalms 91:11-12
God’s words are living and active. It is given to us through the Holy Spirit. God uses His word to strengthen His people. Acting upon the word is possible only with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Promises of God have been given to His children for claiming it and not to sell it off for the whims and fancies of Satan.
“Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23
Temptation for both the camps
Again Satan took Jesus to a mountain top and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and asked Jesus to bow down in order to receive them. It is an eye opener for many who do not know that the present world is lying in the hands of Satan. The dominion over this world was lost by Adam and Eve because of their disobedience.
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19
There are two ways to acquire prosperity. One is to bow down to evil and other is to seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness. We see the prosperity of God’s faithful servants and assume that they who teach people not to love the world are themselves loving earthly possessions and label them as hypocrites. But this is the blessing promised by God to people who seek His kingdom first. Jesus overcame this temptation of Satan by telling him,
“Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 4:10.
Let us have the assurance of forgiveness of sin without doubting His promises and worship our sovereign God with all our heart, mind and soul in all times.