New Living Translation (NLT) The Temptation of Jesus
4 Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,[a] 2 where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.3 Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’[b]”5 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 “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. 7 I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”8 Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’[c]”9 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! 10 For the Scriptures say,‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.11 And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’[d]”12 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’[e]”13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
I’ve only fasted a handful of times in my life- the longest being 24 hours, so I can’t even begin to imagine the pain Jesus’ body endured when he ate nothing for 40 days.
Why on earth would the Holy Spirit lead him into the wilderness to be tempted on an empty stomach? Why would God the Father send His son into a vicious battle with the enemy without the strength to fight him? Because God was in control….and His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
In my life, I have endured many temptations, just as we all have. Some have been physical, some have been emotional and some have been spiritual. The hardest ones by far are those in the wilderness, where I felt unprepared to fight.
When we are starving for something we cannot fulfill ourselves, the enemy will use every opportunity he can to force us to bow down and worship him. The question is: will we ignore the pain in our body that is crying out to be fed, or the pain in our soul which is demanding justice for something that happened to us that isn’t “fair” or will we engage our spirit, set our will and let the Holy Spirit battle for us?
When we choose to worship the Lord God and serve Him only, not only will He nourish our body, soul and spirit, but he will use our wilderness experiences to display His glory to those around us. Because God was and always is…..in control.