Welcoming Temptation

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee… Luke 4:14

Temptation had been fierce. Every option that the devil offered to Jesus was appealing. For forty days and forty nights, the Son of God had been attacked mercilessly by Satan. Jesus’ human side cried out to be satisfied. Satan’s suggestions were not necessarily sinful actions; they were merely deviations from the will of God. But Jesus stayed true to the plan of God, and the result of His steadfast obedience was new power and authority. He had been anointed by the Holy Spirit at His baptism, but His faithful obedience put that anointing into practice. It was that anointing that empowered Him to walk in victory, speak with authority, and perform miraculous deeds that fulfilled the prophecies about Him. In conquering temptation, He showed us how to conquer it as well.

Our temptations do not always involve overtly sinful action. A temptation is an opportunity to direct one’s own path and veer away from the plan of God. Even Spirit-filled people struggle with temptation. The temptation itself is not sin; what we do about can be. Spiritual empowerment starts with crucifying our flesh (Rom. 6:6). When the Bible talks about our “flesh,” it means our old sin nature that refuses to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. To walk “in the power of the Spirit” like Jesus did means that our flesh no longer gets a vote on our life choices. Instead, we obey God, even while temptation rages. We can even thank God for temptation, because it is an opportunity to say to Jesus, “I love you more.”

 Have you viewed temptation as an opportunity to demonstrate your love for Jesus?


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