The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ “
The devil lead him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ “
The devil lead him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point on the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ “
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “
When the devil had finished all his tempting, he left him until and opportune time.
The above story from Luke 4:3-13, occurred while Jesus spent forty days and forty nights in the desert. He was lead there by the Holy Spirit, given no food or water, for the purpose of being tempted by the devil.
Jesus is God in the flesh, but, for him to be fully human here on earth Jesus had to understand temptation. Adam and Eve were created perfect, but they failed the test of temptation. They lost their perfectness and passed sin onto the human race. Jesus was in the desert to show victory over temptation, offering future generations salvation.
Jesus was hungry, tired and confronted by the devil. A bad combination. By human standards, one would accept why Jesus could have given in to the devil — to have an instant solution to His temporary distress. But Jesus was not alone in His battle. God was there to give Jesus the strength He needed to get through His bad situation. Jesus understood this and used God to fight His foe.
Jesus quoted God’s Word three times against the devil. Then the devil decided to leave “until an opportune time.” Yes, the devil left for the moment, but that statement tells us he will be back. In truth the devil will never stop trying to seduce, deceive and alienate us from the love of God.
Thankfully, another truth we have is God overcomes all evil. The next time you realize you are tempted by: immoral conduct, the urge to argue, the need to get even, the impulse to take God’s name in vain, the suggestion to over indulge, or the drive to act selfishly; STOP and remember God.
God does not require us to quote Bible verses, as Jesus chose to do against the devil. A simple prayer admitting our frailty, acknowledging His Supreme Being and asking for His help, is all that is needed to invite His super strength inside us to conquer our inner villains.