The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 4 April 2019 – Victory over Temptation
TOPIC: Victory over Temptation
READ: Matthew 4:1-11 King James Version (KJV)
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.
4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.
9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.
10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (verse 1). It would seem that to the Holy Spirit, the journey to temptation is an upward journey whereas in the mind of the devil, it is a journey downwards. God allows temptation for our promotion while Satan tempts us for our demotion.
Jesus, our Master, was tempted by the devil and hence, none of His disciples is exempt from temptation. We must approach temptation as an opportunity for growth or promotion as James observed, calling it “the trial of faith.
Satan tempts us most in the area of our greatest hunger/desire (verses 2-3). James affirms this truth (James 1:13-14).
It is also important to note the nature of temptation from the passage: temptation is progressive, if the devil fails at the first attempt, he tries the second and the third and when these fail, he waits for an opportune time. Hence, one does not outgrow temptation nor does one gain victory over temptation once and for all (verses 3-10). Moreover, the temptation of Jesus reveals the three natures of Satan’s temptation of man: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The instrument Jesus used to defeat the devil and overcome temptation is the word of God. The word of God and prayer are the two key instruments for fighting temptation (Psalm 119:11; Matthew 6:13).
Prayer: Father, grant me grace to be victorious over temptation.