You do not stand alone

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1 NIV

Recently I finished reading a book that described some of the most reliable soldiers of the Revolutionary War.  General George Washington called upon them to fight some of the most difficult battles of the war, and time after time they came through.  They went up against the best the British army could send out and held their own.  They sacrificed their health, their homes, and sometimes their very lives.  They faithfully fought with General Washington in the very worst of times, when all seemed lost.  General Washington would not stand alone.

I want you to notice something about the verse at the top of this page, Matthew 4:1.  It says that “Jesus was led by the Spirit.”  When we think of being led by the Spirit, we often think of being led to share the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, or being led to go a certain direction in life.  But here, Jesus is led by the Spirit into a confrontation with Satan.

This is a confrontation we know all too well.  Satan tempts the people of God regularly, and we struggle at times to resist him.  We give in to the desire to live for ourselves.  We give in to the pressure to compromise the teaching of the Bible.  We give in our sinful desires and do things we shouldn’t.

And when we do fall to temptation, we can feel desperately lost and alone.  We say things like, “Why did I do that again, after I vowed never to go back?”  “Why did I agree to what my friend said, even though I know it is wrong?”

This often leaves us feeling alienated, guilty, and full of shame. 

But take heart!  You and I are not alone!  Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to take on the devil, and Jesus prevailed.  Where you and I have failed, Jesus succeeded.  Satan was not successful in trying to lead Jesus into sin; rather Jesus overcame all of the temptations He faced.

Jesus has given you His victory!  You have been joined to Jesus through baptism and made an heir of His victory and His kingdom.  Satan can tempt you, but He cannot separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  You and I fail and give in to temptations, but our Savior has cleansed us of all sin and declares us not guilty. 

So you do no stand alone.  The resurrected Lord stands with you, even when all seems lost.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV

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