"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." -Philippians 2: 5-11.When I decided to re-read through the New Testament a few months back, I immediately skipped the Gospels, deciding that I had heard those scriptures enough and already knew what to expect. It wasn't until a week ago that God really put on my heart how naive and proud this attitude is. With a polite nudge from God, I am now reading through the Gospels, focusing on Jesus' life and how He lived, hoping to glean simple truths from His lifestyle. I invite you to follow along with me as I learn how to have the same attitude and lifestyle of Christ Jesus.
The Temptation of Jesus: Matthew 4: 1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4: 1-13
- Jesus was tempted when he was physically weak (Matt. 4:2). He had been fasting in the desert for 40 days when Satan decided to make his appearance. Be on the lookout for how temptation will come to you when you are the most exhausted. If you're tired physically, temptation could take the form of irritation or laziness. If you're tired emotionally, temptation could take the form of self-pity or emotional numbness. If you're tired spiritually, temptation could take the form of religion (just going through the motions) or apathy towards God. All of these temptations come from the great tempter himself.
- Jesus fought temptation with God's word (Matt. 4: 4, 7, 10). When Satan offered Jesus food, Jesus responded with God's word. When Satan offered Jesus the world, Jesus responded with God's word. Know what the Bible says so that when temptation seems appealing and tries to talk you into whatever it is, you can also fight it with God's word.
- Jesus commanded Satan to leave (Matt. 4:10). Jesus got mad at Satan and told him to back off. We can do the same thing! Look your temptation straight in the face and demand it to go away from you.
- After Jesus resisted Satan, angels (ministers of God (Heb. 1:14)) came to take care of Jesus (Matt. 4:11). God will send a "support system" to you after you have dealt with or while you are dealing with temptation. I believe these could be close friends, accountability partners, family, church members--anyone that has your best spiritual interest at heart. God will bless your resistance to temptation by surrounding you with His angels.
- Satan will try to tempt you again (Luke 4: 13). Always be on the lookout for his deceptive ways.