Matthew 4:1-11 — Go Ahead, Do It! Nobody Will Care! This One Time Won’t Hurt Anything! — Satan’s Siren Call Always Sounds Sweet…Til Ya Crash!

Posted: September 8, 2015 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 4:1-11 — This passage kind of reminds me of a recent viral video on Facebook. Recently, I know that many of you have seen the video of two high school football team defensive players in Texas who jacked up a referee after that referee has supposed made bad calls on the previous two plays. They were tempted by Satan to take matters into their own hands. They gave in to Satan’s sweet siren’s call. They crashed. They failed. Resisting temptation to get our own needs met is often difficult for us to do. But we have Jesus for an example of how to avoid giving into Satan’s call.

Jesus is tempted by Satan in this passage and there are several things that we can learn and apply to our lives by how this all went down.

First, we must recognize that Satan will attack us when we are most vulnerable. He will tempt us when we are under physical and emotional stress, when we are lonely, when we are faced with big decisions, when we perceive that we have been wronged, and in that area of life where we are weakest to resist temptation. Satan did not attack Jesus’ when He was in the temple, but rather when He was in the wilderness, where He was alone and hungry. Satan will search for the time and place to tempt us to give into our sin-filled nature. Satan will tempt you with the affections of the opposite sex if you are one who is weak when it comes to such things particularly when gets you to believe that your needs are not being met in your marriage. Satan will tempt you with saying that one drink or one shot of a drug will not hurt you. He will tempt you to lie when it will save your butt. He will tempt you to do something wrong because no one is around to see you do it. He will tempt you at your weakest point. He will tempt you when you at your lowest point to resist. We must be aware of Satan’s strategy to start with small things that lead increasingly to major all out disobedience to the Lord. Satan starts with, “This one time won’t hurt anything.” We must recognize what Satan is trying to do to us through his temptations. Let us always think of the long-range impact of doing the wrong thing. Jesus knew that He could easily turn stones into food but He kept His mission in focus. Listening to Satan in this one thing could have led Him to bigger and bigger disobedience that would have ruined what He was sent by the Father to do. Let us keep our eyes open to what impact giving in to temptation will do to ourselves and our witness to others.

Second, it is clear that Satan in his temptations will dress up his temptations and make them sound like their OK and he will even twist Scripture to make it sound even better. Satan attempted this tactic with Jesus. Sometimes Satan will attack us through the words of friends or associates to will tempt you to do something that you know in your heart that is wrong. They may even use Scripture to support why you should go ahead. Jesus knew Scripture. He was fully God as well as being fully man. Therefore, He was Scripture. Jesus knew that Satan was twisting Scripture and called Him on it. Jesus knew Scripture so well that He knew what Satan was saying was inconsistent with the rest of Scripture. He knew Scripture is never inconsistent with itself. He knew that Scripture will never lead us to do what is wrong. Scripture will never lead us to sin. We must know Scripture and use our knowledge of it to combat Satan’s temptation. We may not always be able to quote chapter and verse like Jesus did or even like some people we know who have amazing memories. But we should study the Bible daily so that we know, through the Holy Spirit, when someone is twisting Scripture to say what they want it to say. We should study the Word so that we know when something just sounds inconsistent with the general tenor of the Bible. If we study the Bible daily, it will become a part of who we are. We may not always be able to quote it but we will know it well enough to say, this is wrong. We will know enough to say resist accepting false doctrine that justifies sinful behavior.

Finally, we must remember that the devil’s temptations will always be focused on three crucial areas. He will tempt us in physical needs and desires. He will tempt us in possessions and power. He will tempt us in pride. Jesus recognized that Satan was tempting in each of these areas and to satisfy these human desires he would have had to sin. These areas are where Satan tempts us daily. Sometimes we sin little. Sometimes we sin big. But it is all sin and Satan glories in his victories. We must recognize situations that are leading us down the road to sin. We must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and act on what He tells us to do. We often rationalize away sin so that we don’t have to call it what it is. We justify our behavior so that we can give in to sin. All of us are powerless against sin. We need help. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us and for us to actually listen to what He has to say. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If you have to explain it or rationalize, it is probably a sin. If you have to justify it and spin it to make yourself look better, it is probably a sin. The truth requires no alibi. We must submit to the Holy Spirit’s action in our souls. We must choose the path He points us to. We must learn dependence on God through the Holy Spirit. No we will never be sinless like Jesus, but we can grow in maturity to recognize when Satan is attacking and seek protection in God’s Word and in the guiding of the Holy Spirit. We can grow in maturity and admitting when we have sinned and seek repentance and forgiveness. We can grow in maturity and avoid situations where we know we are weak. We can grow in maturity and not repeat sins over and over again.

Thank you Lord for showing us that Jesus was tempted. Thank you Lord for showing us specific ways that Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations. Thank you Lord for showing us the way out of temptation. Lord, thank you for showing how to depend on you in times of temptation when Satan makes it sound so sweet. Amen.

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