Clergy Corner: Led of the Spirit to temptation

Photo courtesy of Jason Pruitt
Pastor Jason Pruitt, Parkway Baptist Church.

■ By Jason Pruitt / Contributed

Typically, people will skim over this verse on their way to the interesting story of Christ being tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights and was met by Satan. Satan tries to tempt Jesus a few times before Satan finally leaves.
Yet, verse one always captures my attention before I move on to the exchange of words between Christ and the devil. I am hooked by the very fact that verse one tells us that Jesus was led by the Spirit to the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Did you catch that? The Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness. The Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
We are not always led to pleasant places by the Spirit. We are often misled to believe that being fully in the center of God’s will ensures no storms, trials nor tribulations. Yet, that is not the case. Jesus was perfectly in God’s will in every aspect of his life. Yet, he was led of the Spirit to a desolate location. In addition, Jesus was led to this desolate place to be tempted by Satan.
This is important to note because we need to understand that we will be tempted by Satan. We will face spiritual battles that will come when we are weak. The devil does not play fair. Jesus was hungry. Verse two of Matthew 4 indicates that clearly. Jesus went through everything we go through as human beings. His physical body felt the toll of weariness, hunger, pain and suffering.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”
– Matthew 4:1


There is a misconception that someone battling against the devil has done some sort of wrong. They are being tempted and attacked because of something they have done wrong or are doing wrong. Job’s friends attacked him when everything went wrong in his life. Here, we see Jesus, the perfect Son of God, was being tempted having done no wrong. He was where the Spirit had led him. He was in the perfect will of God. Despite being led into the wilderness, he went willingly. Despite fasting 40 days and nights, he stayed close to his father. Despite being tempted of the devil, he stayed true to the mission.
We need to respond like Christ. He first followed the Spirit. Second, he fasted to grow closer to his Father. Thirdly, he battled the devil and stayed true to the mission. If you are attending church faithfully, reading your Bible faithfully and praying faithfully, you are right in the will of God. Should temptation or hardships come, realize, Jesus went through the same battle.
Matthew 4:11 ends this story with this: “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
After being in a desolate location, hungry and tempted of the devil, Jesus is ministered to by the angels. I have been in trials and received great ministering to by the Lord. Whether God uses a person or touches my heart personally, I have felt ministered to. There is light at the end of the tunnel. God is so good to us. Stay encouraged. Stay faithful.

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There is light at the end of the tunnel. God is so good to us. Stay encouraged. Stay faithful.

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