Let me ask the question again that I asked yesterday. How did Jesus resist the temptations that are recorded in Matthew 4? Well, in the first place, He had just spent forty days in fasting and in prayer. In the second place, He replied to the devil in every instance by quoting Scripture.
Satan had come to Him saying, “If thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread.” This was a temptation to put physical needs above spiritual ones, and Jesus answered by saying, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” It was a direct quotation from Deuteronomy 8:3. Next, the devil took Him up to Jerusalem and, placing Him on a pinnacle of the temple, challenged Him to throw Himself down, trusting God to bear Him. In this way Christ would appear, as it would seem, from heaven and thereby gain an immediate following. Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” In the final temptation, Satan asked Christ to worship him in exchange for this world’s glory. This was a spiritual temptation. Jesus replied, “Be gone, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Once again Jesus had resisted the devil by a quotation from the book of Deuteronomy (6:13).
Do you see the connection? Jesus overcame temptation just as we are to overcome temptation—by prayer and by a knowledge of the Bible, and He even had to learn His knowledge of the Bible. Certainly, when we learn to pray as Jesus prayed and when we learn the Bible as Jesus knew the Bible, then we will experience a greater victory over our temptations.
Moreover, if we do these things then we can have great confidence before God, even when we are faced with temptations. We will pray that God will keep us from Satan’s temptations. We could paraphrase this section of the Lord’s Prayer in this way: “Keep us from wandering into paths where we will be tempted by the devil; but if he comes, keep us out of his clutches.” But even as we pray this we will pray knowing that “God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make the way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
How does the prayer end? It ends with the words, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. Amen.” It does not ask that these things might become true; it acknowledges that they are true. And are they true? Certainly they are. Then we ought not to worry about the future if we are God’s children. All too often we find ourselves doubting that God is really able to take care of us. We worry about our own little kingdoms, our power, and our glory. How foolish when we know that His kingdom is certain, that His power is sufficient for all situations, and that His glory will ultimately prevail.