What Can We Learn From Jesus Resisting Temptation?
"Satan tempted Jesus because he is mean and he does not like God," says Drew, 6. "I was riding my bike, and the devil said, 'Why don't you call your mama a bad word?' I almost did, but I thought about it and I didn't."
Isn't that just like the devil to tempt you to call your mama a bad word? If you did it, he'd turn around and heap so much guilt on you that you wouldn't be able to look your dear mom in the eye. Sin not only separates us from God, but it also builds barriers between people.
Drew said he "thought about it." This is our first line of defense against temptation. The Bible speaks of a spiritual war in which every thought must be taken captive and made obedient to Christ (II Corinthians 10:1-5). At times, our thoughts can be like enemy soldiers shooting at us.
Let's see how Katie, 9, captures enemy thoughts: "I just quote Scripture, and say, 'Katie, it's not right. Don't do it. The devil's gonna try to wedge his way through, but just pray, Katie, and you can handle it.' And God helps me through everything I do."
Katie fights the battle against temptation with three powerful weapons: Scripture, prayer and faith. After Jesus fasted for 40 days, the devil tempted him to turn stones into bread. Jesus said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4).
There's nothing morally wrong with turning stones into bread, but in this case, it was not the Father's will for Jesus. Later in his ministry, Jesus turned water into wine. Another time, he fed 5,000 people with a boy's lunch.
Often temptation comes wrapped in pretty packages. We're tempted to do something good rather than God's best. We want to act instead of waiting on the Lord. Many temptations could be thwarted by quieting our souls to hear God's still voice and see clearly. God is always at work, but we need to wait long enough to see what he's doing in any given circumstance. Once we know what God is doing, we can make changes to join him in his work.
"Satan does tempt us every day, and it's hard to resist, but you can resist. Just think of God and his love for you. He loves you forever and forever, so just remember," says Justin.
Love shields us from temptation. Jesus said to his disciples, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love" (John 15:10).
This is not slavish obedience to a legal code. Instead, this obedience springs from trust and confidence.
"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:11-12).
How difficult is it to obey and please someone who loves you? It's not a chore at all. It's joyous and liberating.
A man in love receives great joy when he does something that pleases the woman he loves. Men and women in love with God resist temptation by keeping the greatest commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37).
Think about this: When Jesus faced temptation, he relied on the revealed word of God. So can you.
Memorize this truth: "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18).
Ask this question: When you face temptation, will you rely on what seems good to you or the revealed word of God in the Bible?
Carey Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and website developer. To see more articles like this one, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/ColumnArchive.aspx. The Kids Talk About God website contains free, online content for children and families. See Carey’s Kid TV Interviews. Print free lessons from the "Kids Color Me Bible" and make your own book. Let an 11-year-old girl take you on a trip around the world in the Mission Explorers Streaming Video. Print Scripture verses illustrated by child artists. Receive a complimentary, weekly e-mail subscription to our Devotional Bible Lessons.
Bible quotations in this Bible lesson are from the New King James Version.
Copyright 2006 Carey Kinsolving