“… and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The Word of God is an essential weapon in our battle with the enemy, and it is a weapon we must use with skill. The three temptations the devil uses against Jesus in the wilderness are the same three temptations the enemy throws at us.
The temptation to satisfy our hunger / appetites
Scripture tells us in Ephesians 4 to “put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful passions.” The Lord is not telling us that all of our desires, passions, and appetites are wrong; rather, he is telling us to beware of deceitful desires. These are the passions and appetites of the old nature that lie to us and lead us into self-destructive behavior.
Many people today simply follow their passions, desires, and appetites. They over-eat and over-drink. They consume media and entertainment with little discernment. They indulge their emotions with reckless abandon. They consume pornography at an alarming rate. They think and talk impulsively. They gossip and whine and complain. Their life is guided and directed by deceitful appetites.
Modern culture supports and encourages the almost unrestricted indulgence of passions and appetites. This is most evident in the culture’s view of sexuality, where the reference point for sexual behavior is simply how one feels.
Modern culture literally says: Ignore traditional morality and follow your passions and feelings. If you feel attraction to the opposite sex, indulge it. If you are a man but feel like a woman, indulge it. If you are a woman but feel like a man, indulge it.
When you feel the temptation to indulge your appetites, press pause and do what Jesus did. Stand and fight. Wield the sword of the Spirit and resist the temptation of the enemy.
Tomorrow we will look at the other two temptations.
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2.11)