Are you tired of trying to do what’s right only to find yourself making the same mistakes? It’s almost like there is something working against you! What if there actually IS!? In this teaching, we’re talking about why resisting temptation is so hard and how you can gain the upper hand!



Luke tells us of a private encounter between Jesus, God in the flesh, and Satan, an arrogant, rebellious angel who thought he had caught God off-guard and could turn his own fate around. We see how Jesus responded to his sneaky attempt to defile that which was holy, to trash the innocent, and disfigure the face of Hope personified.

And the coolest thing about it? There’s not a single miracle in the story. Everything Jesus says and does is something you’re capable of saying and doing. You just didn’t think of it, until now.


[Luke 4:1-2]

“Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.”


FIRST Observation:

The Holy Spirit LED Jesus into the wilderness! We think every desert is a punishment from God. I’m reminded to see God as a perfect football coach. Wind-sprints are not an attempt to humiliate me in front of my friends but an attempt to give me stamina to run longer than my opponents. Drills are not to knock me down but teach me how to get back up AFTER being knocked down


SECOND Observation:

Satan follows the same outline for attack that he ALWAYS uses


[1 John 2:16]

“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.”


If you struggle with the same sins over and over again, this sermon is for you.

If you have begged God to take this temptation away from you, this sermon is for you.

If you feel like giving up, giving in, laying down or turning around from the good path you’ve been called to walk, this sermon is for you.


FIRST TEMPTATION – Lust of the Flesh (Give in to what you crave)


[Luke 4:3-4]

“Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”


Maybe his voice sounds bit different when he’s whispering to you? What does that voice say to you?!


[Hebrews 4:12]

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”


[Psalm 119:11]

“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”



SECOND TEMPTATION: Lust of the Eyes (The ends Justify the means)


[Luke 4:5-8]

“Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”


Satan’s voice will seek to convince you that it’s okay just this once because of the good you’ll be able to do on the other side of the bad. What bad thing are you toying with because you believe it will result in a good thing down the road?


THIRD TEMPTATION: Pride of Life (I need more to be more)


[Luke 4:9-13]

“Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.  And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”


[Galatians 6:9]

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”


[Luke 4:1]

When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”


Reflection Questions:

  • What inappropriate thing do you crave that you KNOW is out of bounds?
  • What bad thing do you want to do that you are trying to rationalize by the good on the other side?
  • What excuse are you giving for not doing what you know you NEED to do?


There will always be opportunities for Satan to tempt you

  • Like Jesus, you need to be prepared with Scripture in your head



Application Questions

1. What stood out to you from this message and why?

2. What is one thing God is telling you to START doing because of this message?

3. What is one thing God is telling you to STOP doing because of this message?

4. How will this message change how you act at home, work and in the your relationships?