Easter

Faced with temptations? Cling to truths instead

Daniel John, Yio Chu Kang Chapel // March 4, 2020, 12:04 pm

A place of testing ymi

As we approach the second Sunday of Lent, it is useful for us to draw some thoughts from Jesus’ temptation by Satan, at the end of the 40 days he spent in the wilderness without food and drink (Matthew 4, Mark 1:12 and Luke 4).

Satan’s main strategy when he came to Jesus after His 40 days of fasting was to create doubt in Jesus’ mind about His relationship with the Father God. We can see this from Satan’s opening words: “If you are the Son of God.”

Remember that this was not long after Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, when God declared from above: “This is my Son, whom I love: with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

But Satan tries anyway.

Is Lent just about fasting and self-denial? This is why the 40-day season matters

Satan still uses this approach today.

Though we are precious in God’s sight and have become His children through Christ, Satan will not spare us.

Whenever we sin, we are prone to judge ourselves unworthy of God’s love and Christ’s salvation, and the devil quickly jumps in and confirms such self-condemnation by planting questions in our minds.

  • Am I really a child of God as God claims?
  • Has Jesus really cleansed me after all?
  • Does it really matter to seek to daily live a life free from sin?

These and many other such questions then begin to plague us.

When you are faced with such attacks in your mind and heart, follow Jesus’ method of responding to Satan: Immediately reject them, cast them out of your mind and cling instead to the truths in the Bible.

1 John 1:9 assures us that when we confess our sins, the blood of Jesus immediately cleanses us, purifies us and makes us clean before the Almighty God once again.

If you are struggling with a sin which you are continually falling into, claim this promise and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you to resist that sin so that you can walk in God’s light continually.

Where help is needed, seek the counsel of an older Christian to help walk alongside you in your daily journey of sanctification.

Satan’s three temptations seemingly offered Jesus good things which we often want too.

  • Food
  • Provision in life
  • Invincibility that comes from being free from harm and danger
  • Great power and control

But they all came with the same underlying twist: Diverting Jesus away from recognising His relationship with God the Father, and from walking the road to death on the cross of Calvary which Jesus had specifically come to earth for.

Are you struggling with the same temptations today? What do their modern forms look like to you today?

Lent is here, should I care?

This morning I had a problem with my handphone.

Someone was trying to send something to me, but my phone would not load it. I had too much unwanted and irrelevant “good stuff” stored in my phone, which made it impossible for that important message to come in.

I ask myself whether I am like my handphone at times.

Are you struggling with the same temptations today? What do their modern forms look like to you today?

Could it be that we are too full and too busy with pursuing “good” things in our lives, that we miss out on hearing the best things God wants to tell us, bit by bit, day by day?

If you have missed observing Lent so far, you can start now and benefit from it spiritually.

Take this period leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday to consider more carefully Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, and how that impacts your desire to grow more Christlike daily.

Then, act on it.

This article was first published on Yio Chu Kang Chapel’s website for Lent 2019 and has been republished with permission.

  1. What do modern forms of temptation look like?
  2. What temptations do you struggle with?
  3. Think of one thing in your life you could fast from. Would you go without it in this season of Lent?
  4. What spiritual discipline or practice could replace what you are forgoing?