You may not consider temptation to be a boundary God uses to direct your path, but throughout history, great people of faith have struggled with all kinds of temptations. Some successfully resisted, and others gave in, but all came to understand that the temptations they faced were boundaries marking out God’s place of protection and provision. Even Jesus faced intense temptation as He began His public ministry. In part six of Boundaries, we will consider the temptations Jesus faced and how those same temptations are boundaries for His followers today.

Passage (Read it):

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”  But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Matthew 4:1-11

How we get there (Matthew 4:1)

What we learn there:

Temptation shows us the boundaries of…
Our independence (the temptation of pride) Matthew 4:2-4
Our reputation (the temptation of the short-cut) Matthew 4:5-7
Our influence (the temptation of power) Matthew 4:8-9

How we thrive there (Matthew 4:10):

Four tips for living in the boundaries of temptation:

  1. Determine to worship God and Him alone.
  2. Rely on God’s Word (Psalm 119:11)
  3. Look for God’s escape route (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  4. Ask a clarifying question: What does wisdom require of me? (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Daily Reading:

Sunday: Psalm 16
Monday: Matthew 4
Tuesday: Job 1-2
Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 10
Thursday: Ephesians 4:17-5:21
Friday: Hebrews 4-5
Saturday: Luke 22

Other Resources:

Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend