Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
You will be tempted. That comes as no surprise to me. You will be tempted in ways that are expected and predictable and also in ways that are unexpected and unpredictable. I have experienced and gone through both of those types of temptation. Yes, I know. How are you on guard against temptation? That’s a good question. I know that I need to be on guard against temptation. So, I don’t allow myself to be in obvious situations or circumstances that will cause me to be tempted. I also don’t participate in anything that I know will feed improper desires and cause me to be tempted. Those are very good and wise decisions.
How will you know when you are nearing a dangerous and tempting situation or circumstance? How will you ever know for sure if you are allowing yourself to feed on something that will lead you into temptation? I know one thing for certain. What’s that? I am not wise enough or strong enough to always make the right decisions. No, you are not. I need to be led by your Spirit. Your Spirit will lead and guide me. Your Spirit will strengthen me. I will not rely on myself. Instead I will rely your Spirit. Yes, you will.
What will help you to stand against temptation? You will help me to stand against temptation. Yes, I will. Your word says that if I draw near to you, you will draw near to me. If I draw near to you and resist the devil, he will flee from me. Yes, he will. Nothing will help me to stand up against temptation more than a close and intimate relationship with you. That’s right. The closer I draw near to you the less attractive temptation and sin will be to me. That’s true but don’t ever begin to think that you are beyond temptation. You will experience temptation until the day we meet each other face to face in heaven. I understand. I will be on guard against temptation.
What weapon do you have in your battle against temptation and sin? I have your word. Your word is like a sword that your Spirit will use to fight in me, with me and for me. Yes, it is. How has my Spirit been using my word to fight in you? Your word has been changing my heart, transforming my mind and guiding my life. Your word has been cleansing my mind of my old thoughts. Your word has given your thoughts to think. Your word has been changing my heart and removing sinful desires, patterns and practices that were once part of my life. Your word has helped me to know and receive your love. Your love for me has caused me to love you more and more everyday. My love for you motivates my desire to not give into temptation. I want to do what pleases you. How has my Spirit been using my word to fight with you and for you? When temptation is actually upon me your Spirit uses your word and does battle in my heart and mind and spirit against the temptation I am facing. Your Spirit has brought your word into my heart and mind and spirit so that I have been able to resist temptation. What does that tell you? I need to let your word dwell in me richly. I need to feed on every one of your words. I need to know, follow and obey your word. Yes, you do. Yes, I will.
Lord, thank you for your word. Your word feeds, strengthens and sustains me. Help me to live on every word that comes from your mouth. Use your word to strengthen me and make me able to stand against every temptation. Amen
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