As I was reading my bible this morning I noticed something that i had never noticed before. In Luke chapter 4: 1-14 it gives the account of Jesus being tempted by the devil. It starts out saying that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and lead into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for forty days. The Holy Spirit actually lead Him to this temptation. He did not eat anything the entire time so you know that He was starving. He had to have been extremely weak from lack of nutrition and probably not in the best of moods. I am sure that He felt deprived and in a state of emergency. It was the perfect time for the enemy to set his attack and try to overpower the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was given the opportunity to get what He needed plus everything that He could ever imagine if He would give into the enemy. He could have had all the power and authority over the nations but He did not give in. Then the enemy tried to manipulate him into jumping from the cliff (to His own death) but Jesus knew not to test God. He stood strong against all the temptations of the enemy and did not give in. So the enemy went away until the next opportunity came.
In verse 14 it says that Jesus returned to Galilee filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what I had never noticed before. He went into the wilderness with the Holy Spirit in Him but He came out of it with the POWER of the Holy Spirit. We know that He was lead by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy. I believe that in order for Him to receive the power that Holy Spirit offers He had to first pass the test. By Him resisting the enemy through the Holy Spirit within Him it made the power of the Spirit come alive in Him. Because He followed the Spirit it became stronger and it’s power went throughout Jesus. I think that it is the same way with us.
I believe that we are lead to opportunities to strengthen the Holy Spirit’s power within us. We are given many choices in a days time that will either make our flesh or our spirit stronger. If we make the right choice we give power to our spirit and if we make the wrong choice, by giving into our wrong desire, we give power to our flesh. We will always have the opportunity to make our spirit stronger than our flesh. With each no that we tell our flesh we are making it easier to follow the spirit’s guidance. As our spirit gets stronger and we make more and more good choices our happiness increases. We feel better about ourselves because we know that we are following the spirit’s guidance and doing what is best for ourselves.
I believe that this account of Jesus tells us how to strengthen the power of the Holy Spirit within us. We receive the Holy Spirit when we receive Jesus but it’s power in us grows more and more over time. We will face temptations all the time, and we may even be lead by the spirit to temptation, for the opportunity of growth. It may not be, in fact I can promise you that it will not be, easy to resist the temptation of doing something that you have been doing for a long time but it is possible because you have the power of the spirit in you. If Jesus can resist food after not having any for forty days we can resist our temptation too. If it is something that we need to resist then it is more than likely not good for us anyways. I have come to see resisting temptation as doing what is in the best interest for me and that it will make me much happier in the long run. I may not like it in the moment but I know that I will love the rewards of it later on.
No matter what temptations you may be facing today you can resist them. You can choose to follow your spirit, strengthening the Holy Spirit’s power that you have, and make the choice that you will be happy with later on. Or you can choose to give into temptation, giving into the enemy and your fleshly desires, and be at ease now, but end up disappointed and mad at yourself and face consequences later on. No matter how hard it is to resist in the beginning you can do it and it will get easier the more that you do it. Take back the power and control that the enemy and your fleshly desires have over you today. It is time that you let them know who is the boss, and that it is not them! Strengthen the Holy Spirit’s power in you and watch how life changes. Watch your joy, peace, contentment, satisfaction, wholeness, and power increase as you say no to the enemy and your fleshly desires.