I appreciate the story in the Bible about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. It helps me to know that even Jesus was tempted. Being tempted, feeling the power of temptation is NOT a sin; even Jesus experienced it.
1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
5The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
9The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are theSon of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully; 11they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
12Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Luke 4:1-13
The big difference between Jesus and me is he never yielded to the temptation. He was equipped with all he needed to withstand every one of Satan’s snares. First, verse 1 says he was full of the Holy Spirit. (Jesus tells us in John 14 that we will do even greater things through the filling of the Holy Spirit). The second thing I notice about Jesus’s response to temptation is he didn’t allow his hunger or loneliness to trigger an emotional reaction and take the bait. Instead, he engaged his mind, recalling scripture passages that he knew and quoted them aloud to his tempter. In recovery we learn that we are most vulnerable to temptation when we are hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT). But if we challenge ourselves to be rational in those moments, instead of overly emotional, and apply the truth of scripture, we can withstand the temptations, just like Jesus. So take heart, friends, through the filling of the Holy Spirit and the Word, we have everything we need.