Matthew 4:6–11 ‘Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”’ (v10)
If someone was to write the word ‘chair’ on a piece of paper in front of you, and then ask you not to think about a chair, you will immediately have the picture of a chair in your head.
This helps us understand why Jesus responds to the lies of the enemy as He does. He doesn’t quote Scripture because it is the equivalent of a magic spell which will help Him automatically resist temptation.
But, as an idea is given to Him by Satan, He is able to replace the evil idea with the Word of God. The attacks are aiming to appeal to Jesus in some way: ‘Use Your powers to make stones into bread’; ‘Ask God to save You from a dangerous fall’; ‘Take the easy route to possessing the kingdom by bowing down to me.’
When a tempting appeal is made to our desire, we must respond by seeing the lie behind it. Sin only seems attractive because there is a lie attached to it – often that God is not trustworthy.
It is the same principle used when we go back to the Garden of Eden, and hear Satan’s initial question to Eve: ‘Did God really say…?’
Satan is questioning whether God is good and trustworthy and has our best interests at heart. God can be trusted to meet all our needs without us having to take matters into our own hands. The whole Bible shows God coming up trumps to bless His people and further His purposes in the world. Yes, He is to be trusted!
A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You, Lord, that You have proved throughout the Bible that You are utterly trustworthy. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Think of any temptations you are facing and identify the lie behind them.
Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 3:1–19 & 4:1–7; Rom. 7:14–25; Jas 1:13–18