IT is Greater than IF

Have you faced temptation this week?

Please take the time to read Matthew 4:1-11

One of my favorite sayings is, the best part of temptation is giving into it!

The problem is, when we accept the promises of temptation, we become obligated to the consequences of sin.

God’s Word commands to resist, and flee temptation, and we are blessed that what God commands He instructs.

Matthew 4:3 says, the tempter came to Him.

One thing we can count on is the presence of the tempter in our lives. We get the idea we can gain a level of spiritual achievement exempts us from temptation.

Satan did not hesitate to tempt the Son of God, so why would we ever think we are immune?

Three areas we are vulnerable to temptation.


Matthew 4:2-4

Hunger is a great motivator, but extreme hunger breeds desperation. People driven by hunger will do things they normally would never do.

Something we need to make special note of here is Satan was patient! The Bible portrays Satan as a fierce enemy, a roaring lion roaming about, but he is also a cunning enemy. He not only knew what was needed, but when to present the temptation.

Jesus was alone, tired and hungry, a trifecta for temptation. It was at that point the devil came and said, “I can meet your needs, IF?”

“All You have to do is…”

Jesus responded to Satan’s IF with God’s IT. “It is written!” Satan the thing you don’t understand is, God has already met My need!

Repeat after me, “We will never need anything Satan has to offer!”

Anything Satan has to offer us is corrupt, defiled and comes at a price we won’t want to pay!


Matthew 4:5-7

Since the Garden of Eden, the greatest weapon in Satan’s arsenal is planting seeds of doubt.

Did God really say that? Do you really believe that? Surely God didn’t mean that?

Here he is testing God’s Son, basically saying, “God said He will catch You! Throw Yourself down and see if He really will do it?”

Satan’s goal was not to get Jesus to jump, it was to get Him to doubt!

Sometimes all it takes for us to succumb to temptation is a seed of doubt.

If Satan can get us to doubt or question God’s Word, it will replace trust with something else.

Again, Jesus responded to Satan’s IF with IT.

“It is written” expresses confidence, no evidence required, God will keep His promise regardless of circumstances.

Our circumstances will never test the faithfulness of God! But it’s amazing how small a seed of doubt it takes for us to question that faithfulness.


Matthew 8-10

How would you respond to the temptation of having everything you ever wanted?

The prince of this world was offering Jesus unlimited power and riches, for the mere price of His worship!

Satan’s greatest desire has always been to have what belongs only to God, His Worship and His Glory!

Some of you will remember a WWF wrestler named the Million Dollar Man. His motto was, “Every man has a price!”

To the Million Dollar Man that was a motto, to Satan, it’s a challenge.

Satan wants to know, what’s your price? What will it take for him to have what belongs only to God, your worship? The answer is, sometimes very little.

Ten minutes of sex, twenty dollars’ worth of drugs, fame, talent, a car, a job, a house…

The goal of temptation is to make us willingly trade treasure for trash!

Satan knows our deepest desires and we should never underestimate his ability to provide us with what we desire the most.

Notice that never once does Satan doubt God’s Word, but he wants to know, what it will take for us to? What’s your price!

In every temptation Satan threw at Him, Jesus’ response to IF was IT.

If will always create doubt and lead us away from God’s promises. “It is written” will put us securely in the center of God’s Will with a guaranteed outcome.

Matthew 4:11

Satan had no further response, he recognized the Word of God as totally authoritative. There was literally nothing more he could say.

So, he left Jesus alone. For a while!

The enemy of God recognized the authority of God’s Word as final! When we face temptations, will we accept it as the final word, or will we look for a way around it?

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