I’ve been going through Matthew for my daily Bible reading. It’s amazing to me what I still pick up, even though I’ve probably been through Matthew a dozen times or more.
If you’re human, you struggle with temptation. Maybe it’s resisting that Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup or hitting that snooze button one more time. Maybe it’s the siren call of a winning scratcher, or the “come hither” eyes of that pornographic image. Whatever it is, there’s some temptation in your life. It’s a (now) natural part of life on Earth.
In Matthew 4, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days. If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll recall that Jesus is tempted by the #1 demon, the adversary himself. And Jesus cleanly and decisively shuts him down, not once, not twice, but three times.
Most of the time people highlight Jesus’ usage of Scripture in defeating sin. I don’t want to take away from that at all. Memorizing and dwelling on Scripture is an excellent way to fight sin. But as I was reading today, one thing that really stood out was how swiftly Jesus rejected the temptation. He wasn’t sitting and staring at the stones, thinking about maybe turning one into a baguette. He answered immediately with Scripture and conviction that the very word of God sustained him.
Struggling in your fight with temptation? Try saying “No” right away, then leaving. Don’t sit near it. Don’t think about it. Just say no.