1 Then Jesus left the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days to be tempted by the devil.
Luke 4:1, Christian Standard Bible
If you don’t understand your identity in Christ, you can’t feel secure in your relationship with God. This makes it easy for you to fall into temptation. When Satan attacks a particular area of your life and pulls you away from God, it is often an indicator that God wants to bring a blessing or a breakthrough in that area. This explains why the devil had to attack Jesus’ identity because he knew that once Jesus truly understood His sonship, our Lord will exercise His God-given authority and power to defeat him.
Just like he did with Adam, Satan thought he could easily tempt Jesus, but he couldn’t be more wrong. Luke tells us that Jesus followed the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. This means Satan wasn’t coming for Jesus but rather, Jesus was coming after Satan.
Being fully assured of His identity, Jesus wasn’t at his weakest when Satan tempted Him. Rather, Jesus was at His strongest because, during that forty days and nights of fasting and solitude, He realised the revelation of who He was to His Father and who He is in the world and what His mission was to be. This is how Luke puts it:
13 After the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time. 14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread throughout the entire vicinity.
Luke 4:13-14, Christian Standard Version
Don’t assume Satan tempts you because you are weak. Quite the opposite. Satan often tempts you because He doesn’t want you to discover how loved and how complete you are in Christ. The devil knows the damage you can inflict on him if you really use all of the available resources of Heaven God has given you in Christ.
Because of Christ’s victory on the cross, you no longer have to combat an enemy who had already been defeated once and for all (Colossians 2:14-15). The best way to live victoriously is to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (Ephesians 6:10-11). Instead of you fighting to overcome Satan with your own strength, the Apostle Paul tells us to stand firm in Christ.
How are you supposed to stand firm in Christ?
You can stand firmly by clinging to the truth of the gospel in spite of opposition.
When and where am I tempted the most? How does my identity in Christ help me in this particular area?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.