Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Matthew 4 : 1 – 3
In the Old Testament, Esau sold his birth-right for a plate of soup. He was so hungry all he could do was think about satiating his hunger, never mind the cost that might incur later on. Contrast that with Jesus who though hungry resisted the devil offering him food.
We’ve all been tempted and unlike Jesus we have all at different times given in. It might feel great at the time yet we know in the long term it just brings guilt. The biscuit that broke the diet, the drink that made you fall of the wagon. So, so, good at the time. Even in our own minds necessary. Yet so destructive in the long term.
When Jesus was tempted he was wise enough to recognise it was a temptation. He could see this was the devil trying to ensnare him. Our first prayer then is not for strength but for discernment. If only we could recognise a temptation when it comes along, that would be the first step.
Prayer: Father, I am a mere human being. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it wrong. Honestly, there have been times in my life I have got it spectacularly wrong. Please give me a spirit of discernment to help me recognise temptation when it is in front of me. Help me father to see as you would see and to know what is good and right in the long term. Not just what will make me feel good right now.
Action: Consider the long-term implications of your actions today. Are you still sure you want to do them?