No Desire, No Temptation
Updated: Oct 25, 2018
In the wilderness, the enemy took three shots at Jesus—three temptations—that were intended to overturn the Messiah’s mission. Each premeditated attempt was a strategy formulated by years of contemplating human behavior. This is why the father of lies offered Jesus the same temptations people repeatedly give into.
The temptation I want to examine in this chapter was the first temptation towards Jesus. I believe this is one of the main tests that we tackle in the waiting.
"And after fasting for forty days, Jesus was extremely weak and famished. Then the tempter came to entice him to provide food by doing a miracle. So he said to Jesus, “How can you possibly be the Son of God and go hungry? Just order these stones to be turned into loaves of bread.”" (Matthew 4:2-3 TPT)
Knowing that Jesus was extremely weak and famished, the tempter offered Him food. At a glance, that doesn’t seem too much of a threat to the call of Jesus. Isn’t he the devil, shouldn’t he offer something evil and destructive such as hallucinate drugs or chaotic behavior? What is with the temptation to eat a piece of delicious bread?
What we need to recognize is that the enemy did not tempt Jesus with food, he tempted Jesus with desire. He figured if Jesus had not eaten in forty days and He is famished, His greatest physical desire must be food. The enemy was banking on desire—because without it, temptation does not exist.
"Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." (James 1:13-14 NKJV)
If you absolutely despise the taste of chocolate, and I offer you a lifetime supply of Godiva’s finest candy bars at the lowest possible price on the market, you would not be wrestling with any sort of temptation. There is no level of temptation, because there is no desire.
In fact, every proposition of the tempter is positively powerless and will not succeed, unless you desire and are enticed by what is being presented to you. If you are a woman and deep down you desire self-affirmation because that was absent in the household that raised you, then trust me: the enemy will take that “need” and tempt you with the wrong man to fulfill that desire. If you were taught that success is based on your financial status and position in the business world, that would be a desire that the enemy could use to create opportunities that distort and twist your priorities.
Desire is to strongly long for, crave, or want something that you believe you must have in order to bring you satisfaction. The enemy knows that wherever your desire is directed, that is where you will be the most vulnerable. Not only does he propose temptations that feed your unchecked desires, but he will also create desires that you did not have before. Eve did not have a desire to violate the boundaries of God’s command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (see Genesis 2:17 NKJV). What was not a desire before, become one through the deception of the tempter.
"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate." (Genesis 3:6 NKJV)
In the fall of man, the enemy had to create a desire first in order for there to be a temptation. By opening her eyes to the enemy’s suggestion and allowing her curiosity to be aroused, the tree suddenly became desirable. Eve went from having no interest, complying and quoting God’s strict orders and consequences, to feeling an irresistible urge for the forbidden fruit. That is the power of desire that the enemy depends on to take us down.