By Carol Round – “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”–Matthew 4:1-2 (NIV).
Several years ago, a social media challenge became popular as parents tested the patience of their toddlers. Some toddlers surrendered to the temptation before them, while others passed the test. The test involved placing a handful of candy on a kitchen table. The toddler, seated at the table, was then told not to eat the candy while the parent was out of the room for several minutes.
Some toddlers didn’t realize they were being recorded with a cell phone. Others didn’t seem to care if they were being watched. The video captured some children stuffing the candy in their mouths as fast as their small hands could grasp the treat. Others obeyed and didn’t touch the treat.
Upon returning to the room, mothers would praise their children if they had resisted temptation. When the mothers whose children had eaten some or all of the candy were asked, “How many did you eat?” the child either answered with a number or shrugged. One toddler sheepishly replied, “I was hungry.”
When We’re Hungry
After His baptism by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan. Jesus fasted there for 40 days and 40 nights.
Can you imagine how hungry Jesus was after fasting in the wilderness for that long? However, when Satan challenged Him with the question, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread” (Matthew 4:3), Jesus replied, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
Satan continued, tempting Jesus two more times to worship him instead of God. As in the first temptation, Jesus replies to Satan with scripture and then basically tells Satan to get lost.
When You Are Tempted
We face temptation every day. The world constantly tempts us to hunger for more “things.” The media’s attempt to influence our buying choices as well as our thoughts can lead to a tug-of-war with God’s truth. That’s why it’s important to know, understand, and memorize scripture.
As Jesus was tempted, He quoted scripture when answering Satan’s challenge. Following His example can help us overcome the appeal of worldly distractions and fears.
Pastor and evangelist R.A. Torrey once said, “God’s Word is pure and sure, in spite of the devil, in spite of your fear, in spite of everything.”
Satisfying Your Spiritual Hunger
Have you ever wondered if you’re experiencing spiritual hunger? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you weary and tired?
- Has your hope for the future disappeared?
- Is stress and anxiety zapping your strength?
- Do you long to feel satisfied and content with your life?
This can happen when, instead of spending time in God’s Word, we get caught up in worldly things.
We should instead partake of the spiritual food that brings us into a deeper relationship with God. Craving and consuming God’s truth through His Holy Word will satisfy and energize, both physically and spiritually, renew your hope, and bring satisfaction and the peace only Jesus can provide.