Passage: Luke 4:1-13
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God… Jesus answered, “It is written:… (Luke 4:3, 4 NIV)
The devil seeks to plant questions in my mind about my identity. I may not be the Son of God, but I am a son of God. This is my most basic and secure identity. This is why it is such a threat to the enemy of my soul.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. (Luke 4:1, 5 NIV)
How well am I discerning the leading of the Spirit and the misleading of the devil? I seem more easily aware of His more blatant attempts these days, but what the subtle ones? I feel troubled that I may still be letting my enemy lead me in ways that are not life-giving but instead life-draining. Jesus, I feel sad, embarrassed and shame looking back over how easily I have allowed Him to mislead me. I recognize my need to be able to discern the leading of Your Spirit.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” (Luke 4:3, 4 NIV)
I’m feeling invited to learn further from the practice of a fourth century desert Christian, Evagrius of Pontus (Talking Back), who wrote nearly 500 pairings of example temptations and scriptural responses on the eight deadly thoughts–gluttony, lust, greed, envy, anger, acedia, vainglory, pride. Though I sometimes find his allegorical approach a stretch, I want to learn from his practice in the spirit of Jesus in the wilderness, especially as it relates to gluttony and acedia. I’d like to identify 5 key scriptures to help me in my wrestling against these two temptations.
(By the way, those key scriptures are listed below)
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:9)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 NIV)
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:18-21)
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Romans 13:14)
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