Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’and
“ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “ (Matthew 4:5-7 ESV)
Temptation is a trial or testing of one’s faith common to men and women throughout history. Joseph was tempted (Genesis 39), as was David (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21), Daniel (Daniel 6), and Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:31). As long as we are in the world, we will be at war with temptation. In this great passage we are given a front row seat of the Master at work, and we should take note.
It is vitally important that we first realize that being tempted to do evil is not an evil in and of itself. Temptation will come, but it must be defeated by “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). This is how Jesus fought against these tantalizing offers of Satan, by the “word of God” and so must we. It is literally a weapon against sin, Satan, and the lust of our flesh.
There are countless ways in which we can and will be tempted, but if we are filled with God’s word, the Holy Spirit will bring it to our remembrance (John 14:26). God’s word is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12), and just as it reveals the sin in us, it will reveal it around us, bringing temptation to light so no one can hide the “thoughts and intentions of the heart.” If you continue to struggle with a sin or temptation, simply find a Bible verse to fight it with. Store this verse in your heart and use it as Jesus did when he was tempted.
Start storing God’s word in your heart to combat temptation as the Psalmist writes in Psalm 119:11