This quiet time is about fighting temptations by overcoming the doubts that keep us from exercising faith in God.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to test all of you as a farmer sifts his wheat. I have prayed that you will not lose your faith! Help your brothers be stronger when you come back to me.”
Satan’s goal is to separate (sift us) from God. He wants us to lose faith and doubt God.
In the book “The Lion Never Sleeps,” Satan is compared to lions in Africa. When lions hunt they will first go after the young, the injured, and the strays (those isolated from the protection of the group). Satan uses the same tactics, coming after us when we’re vulnerable, hurt or wounded in our relationships or isolated in our thoughts and from our friends.
What ways do you see Satan trying to steal your faith and cause you to doubt God?
Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. The Spirit led Jesus into the desert where the devil tempted Jesus for forty days. Jesus ate nothing during that time, and when those days were ended, he was very hungry. The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell this rock to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written in the Scriptures: ‘A person does not live on bread alone.’”
Satan tempted Jesus to doubt whether God could satisfy him. There are a number of places we can look for satisfaction apart from God. Sex, praise from people, food, success, popularity and being better than other people are just a few ways we can chose to look for satisfaction in areas other than God.
Satan tempted Jesus to doubt God in a time when Jesus was needy. Jesus relied on God’s word to help him overcome Satan’s temptation to doubt.
Have you identified where you go to find satisfaction outside of a relationship with God?
Next Satan tempted Jesus to take the easy way out. He offered Jesus a Kingdom without having to go to the cross.
Then the devil took Jesus and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant. The devil said to Jesus, “I will give you all these kingdoms and all their power and glory. It has all been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. If you worship me, then it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written in the Scriptures: ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”
What are the ways Satan offers you an easy way out during challenging moments in your life? Drugs, quitting, cheating, blaming and lying are all easy ways out of a challenging time.
Finally, Satan used one of our greatest fears, the fear of pain or hurt, to tempt Jesus to doubt whether God would protect him.
Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem and put him on a high place of the Temple. He said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, jump down. It is written in the Scriptures: ‘He has put his angels in charge of you to watch over you.’ It is also written: ‘They will catch you in their hands so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.’” Jesus answered, “But it also says in the Scriptures: ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’”
What are your top 3-5 fears? What are recent times in your life that you have felt these fears? What scriptures can you memorize that build your belief that God will protect us?
Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. You know that your Christian family all over the world is having the same kinds of suffering.
And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever.
1 Peter 5:8-10
God said if we resist Satan he will flee. We can build our strength to resist Satan, through personal Bible study, prayer, fellowship and pursuing God’s purpose for our lives.
Talk about your temptations daily with God and friends. Find things in the Bible that strengthen your faith in God. Find time to pray daily (by yourself or with others).