This is a two-part blog series I wrote for Awaken City that I wanted to re-title over to my blog as well!
I spoke a few weeks ago at Awaken City Church on how to renew our minds. The full message is available here, but I wanted to expand on something that we didn’t get to spend much time on: the temptation of Jesus, found in Matthew 4:1-11. There are a few points I’d like to make on this passage, but the first is this:
As I mentioned on Sunday, there are many places in the Bible that seem unnecessarily obvious. One of those places is verse 2: “After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”
Sometimes I get hungry every 40 minutes…so I can only imagine the rumbles and roars coming from Jesus’ empty stomach.
But as always, even the most obvious statements of the Bible contain some very deep truths. Many people focus on the fact that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted. That was the reason Jesus was led there; to face temptation. But verse 2 shows us that before the Spirit allowed Jesus to be tempted, He made sure Jesus knew he was protected. Before Satan is able to come along, Jesus goes forty days and forty nights without any food, and THEN he becomes hungry—which means Jesus experienced forty consecutive days and nights in a row knowing that God was providing for him and protecting him, and that he really was in need of nothing. That’s what enabled Jesus to pass up the bread that Satan suggested in the first temptation.
Before God allows any hardship to come our way, He provides us with proof that we can handle it with Him. The Spirit wasn’t being evil by leading Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted; He was providing Jesus with an experience that proved God’s strength to him after he forfeited his own place as God. And the Spirit wants to do the same thing with us: He wants to provide us with the opportunity to know God’s faithfulness, and then experience how much power there is to overcome the kingdom of darkness simply by having faith in what we’ve already experienced.
So when you face temptation, think back to what God has already made known to you. You may not be there randomly; God may be setting you up to experience the unstoppable victory that’s released every time you buildyour faith for the future on His favor in the past!