The Purpose of temptation

Jesus in the Wilderness

Matt 4v1-11.  
V1 It was the Spirit’s initiative so Jesus would be tempted by the Devil.It was the PURPOSE.....of God!
Dictionary. Definition of Temptation.- seduction, take you away by enticement.
Temptation. In Satan’s hands is to seduce away from God and his purposes.
V1. Wilderness, hardship, wild animals (fear), 40 days to be seduced away from God.
Deut 8v1-3     humble you and test what was in your heart.          The Lord led you..
Not at the mercy of Satan, he can only try and seduce.
God turns his seductions against him.
“in your heart”. Temptation reveals what is getting in the way, what is on the inside.
God uses temptation to get that rubbish out.
This shocked me. As I thought of the areas of that I am tempted in .. what is in my heart?
The word for temptation in both the old and testament means  “to test”
Regard temptation as a test and it becomes less of a beast.
Jesus temptation – significant time. Between baptism and start of his ministry.
Remember the Spirit lead him. Why? Did Jesus have to get things sorted out in his mind?
No! Jesus had to instruct Satan on a few things. “ You will not get me on these things”
What about us? Can we say the same to Satan, “you will no longer get me in this area”?

Why these specific temptations?         

They are Messianic temptations.
Satan designed them to put doubt in his identity as the son of God and render him ineffective in his calling, and ultimately to stop him going to the cross.
The 3 tests relate to his Messianic calling. The very reason why he came to earth.
    • Satan tries to tempt him away from his destiny.
    • To nullify his mission.
    • To seduce him away from his calling and ministry.
I believe Satan uses temptation in the same way to seduce us away from what God saved us for, our ministry and calling. Rom 8v28 “called according to his purposes”
Temptation not so much on our weaknesses but what affects our calling and purpose.

Temptation 1.

Bread to stone. Expectation of returning king Messiah, feed Israel bread in the desert. John 6 14-15 “Make him king by force”

Temptation 2.

Highest point of temple. Expectation “stand on the roof of the Holy place and announce, “ you poor, the time of your redemption is nigh”
All the time Satan is trying to sever the connection with the Father, “if you are...” Seduction.
Jesus and his Father. Not my will but yours... i speak these things as the Father taught me....
Same for us.. Satan tries to sever the tie between us and the Father using temptation.

Temptation 3.

I will give you all this if you bow down and worship me” final assault on Jesus’ mission, to stop him going to the cross
Three specific temptations.
Test what is in your heart with regards to obedience to God
Seduce you away from God and your ministry calling and destiny.
Look at the areas I’m tempted in. Why these areas? Weaknesses?
Areas that effect my effectiveness for God.
Satan wants to render me impotent in God’s purposes.
In our areas of temptation what does Satan stand to gain if I fall, OR lose if I overcome.
Timidity, fear, gossiping, addictions, Satan seduces us away from the Spirit towards the flesh, because he wants to make us less sensitive to the Spirit (Rom 8)
Satan wants to deceive us in our area of calling and ministry – our minds.
Mark 4v14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.
Some have lingered too long in the wilderness.
Still dogged by the same temptations and failures of years gone by.
It is Time to sort them out and lay them to rest and say you are not going to get me on this anymore! They have rendered you powerless an impotent long enough.
God has an amazing way of turning Satan’s attacks back on him. He does prowl and he has schemes but
 “ the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
1 John 3:8      The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.
Col. 2:15        When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
The very thing Satan throws at you, God will use back at him.
  • Esther 7 Gallows of Haman for Mordecai
  • 1Sam 17v51 David takes Goliath’s own sword and cuts off his head.
  • Daniel 6v24 false accusers were devoured by the lions
  • Daniel 3v22 soldiers throwing Daniel and his friends into the furnace were themselves consumed.
  • Paul persecutor and murderer of Christians, who did God choose? Wrote much of the NT.
  • Paul thrown into prison – writes a number of NT letters,
The bible says in James 1v13 “God does not tempt us” but he does use it for good.
James 1:2-4 (ANIV) 
    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
 [3] because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
 [4] Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Temptation in the hands of God results in strength and maturity, nothing to be scared of but rather embraced.
“Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit” it is time to release some power.
Time for some of you to return.................. in the power of the Spirit and say enough is enough. The timid? = relational, the gossip? = unifier, addict? = dependable.
Dreams? Ministry? = RESURRECTION TIME
Steve Watts, 01/05/2008