The pattern of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ baptism teaches a powerful truth: mastering God’s Word protects me when the devil distorts it to trick me.
Jesus’ temptation by the devil is anticipated and intentional. The Holy Spirit led Jesus toward the temptations He faced, likely for our benefit. The choice of a lonely place is also intentional. Jesus was isolated, much like we will be when the devil tempts us.
Temptation is the use of a trick to lure a person a way from following God. The devil tempts both Christians and non-Christians. Temptation is more useful for him than a direct approach. Most would see the futility of following the devil if he came right out and said, “Dump the Father and follow me, instead.” So, he cleverly tempts through our vulnerabilities. He targets vulnerable Christians who lack mastery of God’s word, but highly value Scripture. He manipulates this combination into tricky temptations.
Mastery describes immersing ourselves in Scripture until we know its contents and understand the heart of God. It means storing God’s word in our hearts so God may constantly use it to speak to and guide us. Finally, mastery includes adjusting our lives to our knowledge of God. Knowing His ways and following Him is the best protection we have against the devil’s schemes.
I love to preach and teach, and it's exciting to share God's Word with you here. I pray that you'll not only listen but do something different with life after encountering God.
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