How Can We Rely on Resting?
Resting during warfare is clearly demonstrated to us in Matthew 4. In verses 1 to 11 we will follow in Jesus’ footsteps as He demonstrates the right way to do warfare with the devil.
While going through Matthew 4, we saw that Christ was following a pattern given to us in the book of James for handling temptation.
The James 4:7 Pattern
- Submit to God
- Resist the devil
- And he will flee
God allows us the opportunity to decide if we want to submit to Him – do we want to rest in Him and believe that the battle truly does belong to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:15; 1 Samuel 17:47)
Christ did warfare the right way. He was submitted to God, he resisted the devil by resting on God’s Word. And as promised the Devil did eventually flee. Not right away but he did flee once he realized Jesus was going to fully rest in and trust God to take care of the situation. By repeating God’s Word in the situation He was demonstrating His submission to God and His resistance to the devil. He was saying, “I won’t rely on what I think, I will rest and depend on what God says”.
We need to be like Christ. We need to submit our lives fully to God – we need to love Him with our entire being (heart, soul, mind and strength) and then rest in Him through prayer and learning His Words and applying them to our lives and in the situations we face.
The greatest sin we can commit against God is telling Him that we don’t need Him or His help. Doing this means we are not submitted to Him and therefore we lose our chance of defeating temptation. We are no match for the devil – we can only stand against him because of what Jesus did on the cross.
By staying in prayer and God’s words we are submitting to Him, we are allowing Him to arm us for battle.
The 3 Categories of Temptation
The second thing we see in Matthew 4 is that Christ was tempted in three specific categories. These 3 specific categories are defined for us in 1 John 2:15-17.
Loving the world means wanting the systems and things it has to offer more than trusting and loving God.
Jesus said if we love anything more than Him, we are not worthy of Him or of what He has done for us (Matthew 10:37-38).
Here Are The 3 Categories
.1. Lust of eyes — materialism — the desire to possess what we see or to have those things which have visual appeal.
.2. Lust of flesh — immorality — the desire for that which satisfies any of the physical needs.
.3. Pride of life — arrogance — is thinking you are special because of who you are, what you have, what you know, or what you look like.
Be very careful – do not let anything replace Christ as the center of your life (John 6:33).
We have the Same Adversary as Jesus
Sin is a Choice
Deceived or Not
The Woman (God named her Eve after this event in her life) also Had the Same Adversary. She chose to listen to him. As a result she was deceived. Thus when faced with these 3 categories she failed. In her mind, she was convinced that she was sinning for the right reason. Genesis 3:13 – Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
Adam also sinned. But he was not deceived. He consciously chose to eat of the fruit. He knew what he was doing was wrong – Genesis 3:12 shows by his response that he was not deceived – “The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
God demonstrated through these two individuals that all sin needed to be covered by Christ’s sacrifice – those we do consciously knowing that what we are choosing to do is a sin and those that come from being deceived because we chose to believe the first lie told to us and kept going from there until the truth was out of our viewpoint altogether.
Now Back to Matthew 4
Let’s Compare Woman’s Responses With Christ’s Responses
Let’s Look At Genesis 3
Now the Comparison
The third thing we learn from Jesus’ temptation in Matthew 4 is that He is now qualified to be our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) because He was tempted in all the same ways as we are and He sinned not.
Also, He is able to aid and comfort us because He does understand what we are going through (Hebrews 2:18).
.1. We need the sustenance of God’s word because material things will not sustain us for long.
.2. We are not to tempt God.
.3. We should be resting while we are trusting in God to take care of the battle.
.4. The devil will try again – the way to glory is not quick and easy, but long and hard (Acts 14:22).
.5. Satan cannot thwart the Word of God that’s why he flees
How will we do battle?
Will we accept that the battle belongs to the Lord and that we need to stand and let Him do the warfare. What is our part – prayer, Bible study and resting.
Are you ready to rely on Jesus to fight your spiritual battles for you?