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Beware, Lion ahead

The temptations of Jesus make for an interesting lesson but a major lesson (often forgotten) is what happened afterward.

Temptations are those enticements to sin and violate God’s will in our life. While many may consider that Satan is the source of these sins in our lives, the Scriptures are clear that sin begins in our heart, within ourselves.  Here are two passages:

And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”  (Mar 7:20-23)
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. (Jas 1:14-16)

These two passages indicate that the source of sin comes from our heart. Satan may inflame those desires, but he does not generate them. If temptations are from our own desires, then it follows that if our desires are under control, that temptations will not have as much pull upon us. One of the ways that we remove the temptations is by removing the desire.

Desire, when it comes to temptations, is not simply “wants” but “wants” that are beyond God’s boundaries. The English word is “Lusts”.  One of the things Jesus had working for Him was that He did not desire things that went beyond doing God’s will. This is why Satan’s temptations did not have an effect on Jesus.

But what about after the temptations? Was that it? Satan just gave up and said “I can’t beat you?” No! not at all.

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. (Luk 4:13)

This is an important point to see. The Devil did not simply give up, he waited for another opportunity.  Examples of such other opportunities may be seen in Peter’s insistence that Jesus should not die (Mt 16:23), when the people wanted to make Him their King, (Jn 6:14-15) and even in the hours leading up to Crucifixion. (Lk 22:41-44)

In our lives, we sometimes are able to overcome desires that God does not approve. However, we must never think that Satan is done with us.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1Pe 5:8)

While we should always be endeavoring to overcome our weaknesses, we should never think that Satan is done trying. If he did not stop tempting Jesus while He was here on the earth, one should not think that we will also fail to endure more temptations.


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