“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
The the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying 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,
so that you will not dash your food against a stone.'”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.'”
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
I love the story of Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness. It shows us an important truth that is easy to forget: it is not a sin to be tempted. For surely Jesus was tempted to eat, hungry as He was. And He must have been tempted by the kingdoms of the world, thinking of all the good He could do.
The Devil knows how to tempt us, he knows what we want the most. He knew how hungry Jesus was, how He would want to help the world. I think maybe he even saw in Jesus a desire to be acknowledged as the Son of God. He tempts with what you want, and what he tries to convince you you need. He even tempts you by twisting the scriptures and giving you the wrong meaning in hopes of leading you to a false belief.
And how does Jesus respond to temptation? With scripture! He doesn’t get the strength to resist from His own awesomeness as God’s Son. He wasn’t naturally perfect, He had to work to be sinless too! His strength came from scripture, from knowing what was right and wrong because God told Him so. Just think of that. God has given us the answers!
This is really the best argument for spending time with your Bible each day, and for verse memorization. These are your number one tools against the Devil! I wish I was better at both these things, especially verse memorization. Often I start a new Bible-regime and do well for a time, and then flounder and quit. I memorize verses, only to forget them after a week. I think this is something that everyone struggles with at least a little. It is clearly something I need extra help with.