We are now in the days of the Lent Season. Lent is a period of 40 days during which Christians remember the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His life and teachings are the foundation of Christianity.
For Lent, the church focuses on three basic things: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Praying is spending more time with God. Fasting is giving up something to get closer to God. Almsgiving is the practice of meeting the needs of those who are struggling and hurting.
For me, one of the most awesome, dynamic times on this earth was the baptism of Jesus Christ. Before Jesus was tempted, He came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
John consented and when Jesus was being raised from the water, the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming and resting on him. Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” This was the one time in scripture that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were openly on the earth together.
Then came the time of difficulty. All this was planned by God to prepare Jesus for the things to come. The Bible states that He was led by the Holy Spirit to go into the wilderness. This lets us know that God was not on the defensive in this matter. He was on the offensive, demonstrating the superiority of his Son over Satan.
Matthew 4:1-11 tells the story how Jesus was tempted three times.
First, Satan knew Jesus had fasted from food and water for forty days. He challenged Jesus to turn stones into bread. Jesus responded, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by the word of God.”
Jesus was then taken to the top of a Temple and told to jump off for God would send angels to protect him. Jesus responded that we are not to tempt our God.
Finally, He was taken to a high mountain and shown all the great Kingdoms of the world and was told He could rule and have dominion over them if he would just bow down and worship Satan. Jesus took full control and told Satan to leave for only God the Creator should be worshiped.
Satan always began his temptations with the word “IF” you are the Son of God. However, Jesus always responded to Satan by quoting the Word of God.
If Jesus, the living Word, needed to use the written Word to deal with the enemy of the word, how much more do we? Because of Christ overcoming temptations, we, too, can live victoriously over the temptations of the devil. Falling to temptation can become a lifestyle. That is what Satan desires in order to change our lives.
We may fall sometimes, but we only have to ask God for forgiveness and get back up. We have to learn not to surrender to temptations to the point that we live in sin. Though temptations may weigh us down and become stressful, it is good to remember the word that God stated when Satan first brought down Adam and Eve and brought sin into the world. Genesis 3:15 (KJV) states: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Satan might be able to bruise our heel, but we can bruise his head. We must fight the good fight and celebrate our lives because we already have the victory. Jesus took care of that.