Matthew 4:1–3 ‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.’ (vv1–2)
It was a glorious moment when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism and He heard those words from His Father: ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’ (Matt. 3:17).
But His being led by the Spirit does not lead to an easy life, and Jesus soon after finds Himself in the wilderness, where He is tempted by the devil.
Sometimes it is presumed that the devil came to Jesus at His lowest moment after He had fasted forty days and forty nights but, in fact, the discipline of fasting can increase our sense of God’s presence.
It is hard to draw parallels with Jesus, who was God and full of the Holy Spirit, but as one who was fully human, these were real temptations, and He had the strength to withstand them and overcome them.
The devil’s chief weapon is to question the identity of Jesus: ‘If you are the son of God…’ In other words: prove it!
There are some clear lessons for us. Just because life is tough, we mustn’t assume that we are not being led by the Spirit.
The enemy of our souls will also seek to undermine our identity in Jesus. He might accuse you: he is, after all, ‘the accuser of our brothers and sisters’ (Rev. 12:9–11).
In the next few days, we will see the ways in which Jesus counters the devils attacks but, for now, let us remind ourselves of the security of our identity in Jesus.
Remember Jesus identity comes before His public ministry. You and I are secure in Christ regardless of what we do or are able to do for Him. That is an thought worth resting in.
A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You for the authority that we have to resist the devil’s attacks. I do so in Jesus’ name. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Reflect on your last few days. Is it possible that God was at work within you when you didn’t know it?
Scripture To Consider:
Isa. 14:12–17; Ezek. 28:1–19; 1 Pet. 5:6–11; Rev. 12:9–11