Further thoughts for Adult 3, (and anyone else), on last Sunday’s lesson, “Battle Plan,” from Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life

This past Sunday our lesson was on Matthew 4:1-10, the Temptation of Christ. Since then I have been thinking about how I might respond to those temptations. Food; I would definitely fail, I’m always hungry. All the kingdoms of the world; that sounds like a lot of head aches, maybe I could resist that. Being taken to the top of the temple and encouraged to jump; this is the temptation that got me thinking. Satan wouldn’t even try that with me, he knows I wouldn’t jump. That begs the question, what does the enemy not even worry about when it comes to me? What areas of my life keep me from being a viable target?

Sure, we’re told that we won’t be tempted more than we can handle and that we’ll always have a way to escape temptation in 2 Corinthians 10:13. What if we don’t recognize any temptation attempts on our lives? I feel I can confidently say that the tempter has never said, “Trying to tempt John is a waste of time, he never fails.” That is probably not a reason for not seeing temptation. If we have no temptation in our lives then we probably don’t have much God in our lives either. We’ve placed our faith elsewhere, in things most likely, and Satan’s goal is for our faith to be anywhere except in God. If we think we trust God, but really aren’t, the enemy doesn’t have much to worry about with us. Think of the church in Laodicea, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My, [Jesus], mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and hand need of nothing’– and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, (Rev. 3:16-17, NKJV).”

We think we have everything, but we really have nothing. Then we go and make fun of Peter. He’s always the example in the Bible that we pick on for a lack of faith. He lacked faith so he cut off a guy’s ear. He lacked faith so he denied Jesus. He lacked faith so he decided to get back in the fishing business. Peter’s faith may have been lacking, but he had enough faith that he was under constant spiritual attack; he was constantly being tempted. Peter was a threat; therefore, he was a target for the enemy. Am I, are you? If not, we must refocus on God, with full submission, realizing who He is and what He can do.

If we make ourselves targets we must be ready. When Peter, along with James and John, went with Jesus to pray, (Mark 14:33), they kept dozing off. When Jesus would wake them up He’d tell them, “Pray that you do not enter into temptation, (Luke 22:40b, NKJV),” then again, “Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation, (Luke 22:46b, NKJV).” Once we have become targets we must vigilantly pray for the ability to fight temptation. Then when temptation comes we go from praying, (which is asking for God’s action), to our responsive action as empowered by the Holy Spirit. As we saw in Sunday’s lesson, KNOWING in our hearts, inside and out, what the scripture says is vital to overcome temptation.

Trust in God, grow that faith. Bring more prayer into your life; know what the Bible says. Satan only makes targets of what he sees as a threat. Let’s make ourselves targets so no one would compare Union Chapel to Laodicea. Like Peter we will fail, but like Peter we can keep getting back up and continue being a target.

See y’all Sunday,

John Fidler
Associate Pastor of Member Care