Temptation and Victory
“Jesus … tempted by the devil … ” (Luke 4:1-2).
In the wilderness, Jesus won the victory over Satan. How did He win the victory? How can we be victorious in our battle with Satan? We read about Jesus in His wilderness of temptation and we ask, “How can He help us in our wilderness of temptation?” The wilderness is a terrible place. It’s a place of great danger. When we are in the wilderness of testing, our faith is put to the test. We wonder, “Is God really there? Is God really with us? Will God really help us when we are in the wilderness of temptation?”
Jesus shows us God’s answers to our questions. God is with us in the wilderness. God is there to help us. How does God help us? He helps us in the same way that He helped Jesus. The Spirit of God and the Word of God – These are the divine resources given to Jesus in the time of His testing. The Spirit of God and the Word of God – These are the divine resources which have been given to us.
Strengthened by the Spirit of God and armed with the Word of God, Jesus was triumphant over Satan. Strengthened by the Spirit of God and armed with the Word of God: This was the way of victory for Jesus. This is the way of victory for us. Why has God given us His Spirit and His Word? God gives us His Spirit and His Word so that we might do His will – living in obedience to His Word, as we obey the promptings of His Spirit. The Word of God shows us the will of God. The Spirit of God gives us the strength to do the will of God.
Must our story always be “Temptation leads to sin”? Jesus shows us another way. Jesus shows us a better way. Jesus shows us that we can be tempted without sinning. He says to us, “Watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). Temptation comes knocking on our door. Do we open the door to temptation? Or, do we keep the door of our heart firmly closed? We enter into temptation when we open the door of our heart to the temptations brought to us by Satan. We overcome Satan when we close the door of our heart to his temptations.
Temptation leads to sin. This is not an inevitable sequence of our life. Temptation leads to sin. This sequence can be broken. It can be broken by obedience, obedience to the Word of God, obedience to the promptings of the Spirit of God. We will be tempted. There is no question about that. There is, however, an important question we must ask ourselves: “When we are tempted, will we sin or will we win the victory?
There is a way of victory over temptation. God had given us His promise – His promise of victory over temptation. God tells us that when we are tempted, he will provide for us a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Jesus is God’s way of escape. Jesus is God’s way of victory. The way of escape is the way of victory. The way of escape is the way of following Jesus. This is the way of victory – the way of following Jesus.
When we are tempted, we must believe that Jesus is with us in our temptations. He is our Saviour. He is there beside us to deliver us from evil. He is there to break the chain of evil. He is there to lead us from temptation to victory. Satan’s chain of evil tells us, “Temptation leads to sin.” Jesus tells us, “Satan’s chain of evil can be broken.”
How can we be “more than conquerors” in our battle with Satan? God’s answer to our question is Jesus Christ. God points us to His Son, Jesus. He speaks to us of Jesus, our Saviour. He tells us that Jesus died for our sins. Through faith in Him, we receive the forgiveness of our sins. through faith in Him, we are led in the way of victory over sin. God calls us to put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He calls us to come to Christ and receive and enjoy His wonderful salvation: “He breaks the power of cancelled sin. He sets the prisoner free. His blood can make the foulest clean. His blood availed for me. He speaks and, listening to His voice, new life the dead receive.”