“For forty days he was tempted by the devil.” Lk 4:2 NIV
Here are some practical pointers from Jesus for handling temptation: (1) Your temptations are like the ones He faced. “Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are” (Heb 4:15 CEV). You say, “But you don’t understand how bad my temptations are.” No, but Jesus does. The fact that “He was tempted in every way” means He has been there, felt the urge, and understands your vulnerability firsthand. You can turn to Him when temptation hits, confident He has walked the same path and He will help you. (2) Temptation often comes after spiritual victory. Jesus had just been baptized, the Holy Spirit descended on Him, and God declared His pleasure in His Son—then Satan struck full force (See Mt 3:16-17; 4:1-11). High spiritual moments can leave you with your guard down, susceptible to attack. Paul says, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1Co 10:12 NKJV). People often crash and burn after big accomplishments. Ministers, for example, can be prone to temptation after delivering a great sermon. (3) Temptation comes when you’re exhausted. Forty days without eating had left Jesus physically depleted. When your resources are drained, you’re a target for attack. Lack of sleep, unhealthy diet, stretching yourself too thin, no exercise, anxiety, and discouragement can open the door to temptation. When you feel down, your focus blurs, your awareness is dulled, your spiritual edge diminishes, and you’re not on guard against the Enemy’s approaches and schemes. The Bible says, “Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up” (1Pe 5:8 MSG).