Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
How often do we make the mistake of turning from God his Word and instead look for power within ourselves when temptation knocks on our door? This shouldn’t be that surprising. Our society is all about the power of “you.” If you search for ‘self-help books’ on Amazon’s website, there are over 1,000,000 results listed. Our selfish sinful nature tricks us into thinking we have the power to fight temptation on our own.
We have the opportunity to see Jesus respond to temptation. When Satan tempted Jesus, even though he is perfect and even though he is God, he did not look within himself for the power to fight the temptations. He looked to the Word of God.
Defeated, the devil continued to look for opportunities to tempt Jesus. While here on earth, Jesus was tempted in every way – tempted in every way that you have been and tempted in ways that you have never experienced. He never failed. He never once let us down. He never once let his Father down.
On the cross God took all of our sins—all of those times we have been tempted and failed—and put them on Jesus. And then in a startling act of grace he takes Jesus’ perfect life victory over every temptation and credits it to us. Now as God’s children, through the incredible gift of faith and the word of our Savior, we now have the power to stand and fight temptation. That power isn’t found in a self-help book or by digging deep inside yourself. This power is found in God’s Word. It is the answer to every temptation. Better than that it also points us to the forgiveness for every time we made the mistake of looking somewhere else.
Jesus didn’t fall for Satan’s lies. He wasn’t defeated by temptation. He didn’t falter as we do, instead he was everything we are not. He is our Savior who has made us who we are—blood bought children of God. When Satan lies to us and attacks who we are, we know that Jesus defeated Satan and has made us his own.
Dear Jesus, thank you for defeating Satan and his power. Give me the strength to flee temptation and stand firm in what you have made me to be. Amen.