Lately I have been stuck when it came to what I wanted to study in the bible. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to do topical studies, word studies or character studies. I was then lead to reread the Gospel Books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). So I started with Matthew and when I got to chapter 4, I felt like what Jesus was experiencing and how He handled those situations was definitely something I could apply to my life. So here are 6 takeaways I got from Chapter 4 of Matthew:
- Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1).
- Like my pastor always says, we give the Devil too much credit sometimes. Just because we are going through something, doesn’t mean that it came from the enemy. God tests us (I said God test us, not tempts us—there is a difference) to see if we will hold on to the convictions He has given us or if we will operate with our flesh.
- The devil tempts us when we are most vulnerable.
- Satan temps our physical, emotional and/or psychological needs. In Jesus’ case, satan was tempting His physical need of food. Jesus had just finished fasting for forty days and forty nights and like anyone would be, He was hungry. Satan tempted Jesus in His most vulnerable area at the time, which was hunger.
- We can have God-given desires, but doesn’t mean we have to satisfy them.
- Okay, let me explain this one. In Jesus’ case, hunger is a God-given desire and in normal circumstances it can be satisfied by eating food. But God told Jesus to fast for forty days and forty nights, there was a purpose behind it, so Satan was trying to stop that purpose by tempting Jesus with food. Being hungry is not wrong but eating at that time would not have been pleasing to God because Satan asked “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:3). Will you satisfy your desires through Satan’s hand or through God? The choice is yours, but the outcome will be totally different between the two.
- You must know and OBEY scripture to resist temptation
- I must emphasize on knowing the scripture and OBEYING them because Satan knows all the scriptures very well, but the difference is that he doesn’t obey them. In order to defeat satan’s temptations the Word must be stored in your heart and ready to attack. Not only must we store the Word in our hearts but most importantly we must apply them to our lives every single day.
- True repentance is when we turn away from what our flesh desires. This must have been very important because this was the first sermon Jesus gave. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:17). Repentance must be acted upon every single day, we must choose every day to turn away from our fleshly desires and choose to live righteously.
- Fish for People
- Share the good news. “Come follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19).
I believe these 6 takeaways can be applied to all areas in our lives in which we feel we are being tempted. For me right now, that area is weight loss. This the area where I am most vulnerable right now, and in order to defeat those temptations I must store scriptures in my heart so that I am able to combat thoughts like, “oh, you don’t have to exercise today, or “it’s just one soda, and only a little cake.” Just because I have a desire to eat, doesn’t mean that I should choose unhealthy items or overeat. I no longer have to let my fleshly desires control me because they were already defeated at the cross by Jesus. But let’s be honest, I still have those moments, days, or even weeks where there is no broccoli in sight lol, but it is never too late to go to God in repentance and get back on the right track.
What are some areas in your life where you could apply these 6 takeaways?