I've started riding a bike to work (thanks to those who have loaned me bikes, it's been great!). I live, roughly, a mile from the church, and not only does this allow me to decompress after work, it helps to get me in to shape. Now, the shape I am currently in is roundish, and I really want to work on getting in better shape; but have you ever noticed that when you do so, there are things that tend to distract from that? For example: this morning, on my route, a couple of dogs began to chase me on my bike, and one even snapped. I had to get stern and call them off. If I was less motivated that would dissuade me from doing it again! Other things like entertainment (like television or video games, or something on my phone), busy-ness, or life in general can distract me from my goal, if I do not guard myself. Our walk with Jesus is no different. If we attempt to walk with Christ, we have an enemy who will kill, steal and destroy, who will do anything he can to distract us from following Jesus as we ought. Satan is real, his minions are real, and just like those dogs this morning, we have to call them off, in Jesus name. It says in James that if we resist the devil, he will FLEE from us (James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. )! It says in 1 Corinthians 10: " No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." It's time for us to let go of distractions, to give no foothold to the devil, and to remove the distractions from our lives, however benign they may seem. We will not live the fulfilling life that is truly life by chasing down distractions! Let us look at how Jesus handled it and ask "What if I did what Jesus did, and resist the enemy?"
Matthew 4:1-11 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Temptation of Jesus
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 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,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”10 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.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.