Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus must have been reflecting on Deuteronomy the day that the Spirit of God led Him into the desert, exhausted and hungry, to be tempted (this word can also be translated “tested”) by the devil. Three times the devil tempted Him. And three times, showing us how to deal with temptation, Jesus quoted the Word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3, 8:16, 8:13).
The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in the same way we all are. He was tempted in the three main areas of weakness that all human beings have:
- The lust of the flesh – Matthew 4:3-4
- The lust of the eyes – Matthew 4:8-10
- The pride of life – Matthew 4:5-7
It is interesting to note that before he tempts Jesus in each of these areas, the devil tries to call into doubt the calling and nature of our Savior – “If you are the Son of God…” He likes to twist the Word of God – in this case, through omission (compare Matthew 4:6 vs. Psalm 91:11-12) – and is the absolute master of Historical Revisionism: the art of lying. It’s hard to fight an enemy that you don’t know or understand.
It is much easier to recognize the attacks of the enemy once you understand them. Sometimes we need to just flee temptation. But our one and only weapon in the full Armor of God is the Sword of the Spirit. The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
So let’s ask ourselves a question: How rusty is our sword?
A short prayer of preparation:
Lord God Almighty, You are Holy, Holy, Holy. I thank You that you have shown us how to fight against the flesh, the world, and the devil. Guide me this day in Your Holy Word that I might have a response to temptation in all of its many facets. Bring to mind your Holy Word as I go throughout the day, that the sword in my armor may be clean, bright, and sharp. Help me to stand when needed, flee when needed, and fight when needed. Father, help me also to recognize when to do each of these things. Prepare me for battle this morning that I may honor you in every area of life. This I ask in the precious name of my Lord and Savior, My battle commander, Jesus Christ, Amen.