“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” ~1John 2:16-17
Jesus went from baptism to battle, being assaulted by Satan in the wilderness. “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread” (Luke 4:3). Perhaps Satan had been eavesdropping at Jesus’s baptism when coming out of the water heaven tore open and God spoke, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). The challenge seemed reasonable, Jesus had not eaten for forty days, but behind hunger hid the temptation to clutch again his deity for himself, the desire of the flesh. “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4), easier said when one is not famished.
If “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16), Satan offered Jesus an easier way and showed him what he loved, “all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time” (Luke 4:5), the desire of the eyes. All Satan demanded in exchange was Jesus’s heart. How often Satan need offer much less to get mine, but Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve’” (Luke 4:8).
Finally, boastful pride, Satan set Jesus “on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here’” (Luke 4:9). The angels will protect and the world will know, but “not my will, but yours, be done” is the answer to pride and Jesus rebuked Satan, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Luke 4:12).
Jesus knows the power of temptation and I only its sting because I so frequently give in, but I know the power of Jesus.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:15-16
Dear God, I pray to You because You are the One true God. There are no others. I know that You are good and powerful and wonderful. I know that You care about me. I can’t quite figure out why, but I’m glad. You cared so much that You sent Your Son to heal me.
God, I need to be healed. I cave into temptation and sin leaves me broken, but by Your grace and strength, I am made new. You are the only wise God, my Savior. To You be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forevermore.