THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE
After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, he was immediately led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. Luke 4:2 says, “Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.” He was tempted by Satan during this wilderness experience.
He combatted these spiritual battles with the word of God. He did not think about what the devil asked or offered, he quoted scripture instead. You will notice that no one was with Jesus. It says Holy Spirit led him to this place, and that he was full of the Holy Ghost (4:1). He fasted during this whole wilderness time. He was hungry, and that is when Satan came with his temptations to him.
The first temptation was food. Satan started with “If” with each temptation. You can be sure that he will do the same to each of us when we are trying to get closer to God. Often when we give up something the devil will tempt us to go back to it. In this case with Jesus, he told Jesus to command stones to become bread. Now Jesus later did the miracles of the loaves and fishes, so we know that he operated in the miraculous, but the loaves and fishes were miracles from God. Doing Satan’s bidding to turn stone into bread would mean that Jesus was led by Satan, and not God.
The second temptation was offering Jesus the kingdoms of the world if he would worship Satan. Often in the case with humanity, mankind wants to “rule” and will do anything to get that power. Many have sold out to Satan and have become famous because of it. It not only happens to non-believers, but there are those that have sold out to Satan in the church also. They may look good on the outside, but on the inside their hearts are black. They are only interested in money and the power they get from being behind a pulpit. Jesus combatted this attack with scripture also when he quoted Deuteronomy 6:13 which says that we are to only worship God and serve God.
The third temptation was to jump off a building. Satan misquoted scripture implying that Jesus could do this, and God would not let him get hurt. This is the way the devil works. He implies that we can do many things that purposely will lead to death, including drugs and alcohol, but tells us a “little bit” is okay, but eventually it will catch up with us. Many have died because they listened to Satan. Jesus used the scripture from Deuteronomy 6:16 which it says that we should not tempt the Lord our God.
Every attack from Satan was countered by the Word of God. Jesus said, “It is written.” He knew the word because he had studied it as a child on into adulthood. It had taken root in his heart, and it became the sword to take Satan out. We also can take down our enemy, Satan, by quoting scripture. The key is to “know the scripture” well enough to use it as a sword.
Yes, we will have wilderness experiences, but God will bring us through them if we keep our focus on Him and the Word and not the accusations or words that Satan uses against us.
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