Devotion - March 10, 2014
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
Every time I pray the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), I find great comfort in the words, "And lead us not into temptation." I need this reassurance because there are many things which seek to draw me away from the Lord. The world always beckons with its pleasures. The devil always offers illusions and distractions. My flesh is always attentive to their appealing call. My only refuge is knowing the Lord will keep me safe in every time of temptation, and that refuge is found in my Savior Jesus Christ.
At the beginning of his ministry God the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness of Judea. The sole purpose was to engage in spiritual combat with the devil. Forty days and forty nights Jesus endured the devil's twisted truths, his easy solutions, and his deceptive offers. Through the power of God's Word, Jesus was victorious and did not sin.
I am the beneficiary of this hard fought battle. Because Jesus overcame every temptation, he gives me the ability to resist the devil's destructive advances. He also gives me the wisdom to identify Satan's deadly deceptions. He even gives me the strength to faithfully endure every cunning attack.
I can find great comfort in knowing Jesus will keep me safe. I find equal comfort in knowing when I fail to resist temptation, Jesus stands ready to rescue me. He forgives my failure to remain faithful and removes the burden of my guilt. He encourages me with his reassuring promises to retake my stand on God's Word. He even renews me with his victory to prepare me for the next battle.
I know as long as I live in this world, the devil will always be there to tempt me. I also know I need to be ready to identify these temptations so I can resist them. What gives me courage and strength for the battle is knowing that Jesus is there to keep me safe.
O gracious and faithful Savior, you were strong and faithful in the face of every temptation. Give me the same strength and faith to resist the devil's attacks. Refresh me when I grow weak. Forgive me when I fall. Keep me safely in your care. Amen.
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