Avoiding temptation is not easy. We all face temptation. Jesus was tempted too (Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1). Therefore, the temptation itself is unavoidable. However, giving into it is what we must never do. Likewise, Little Pot (a vessel created by the potter to grow fruit) faces temptations. Let’s take a look at the three temptations of Satan that can keep us from growing the fruit of the Spirit. Then, we will see a practical way that Little Pot “worms” itself free as well.
temptation bible verses
Matthew 4:1-11 describe three unique temptations that are universal in nature. We will look at each one and consider ways that we can avoid them just as Christ did.
3 temptations in the bible
The three temptations Jesus faced were to turn stone into bread, be saved by angels, and gain the splendor of the world. My favorite study on these temptations is Anonymous by Alicia Britt Chole. In this book, Dr. Chole describes the three temptations as a temptation of appetite, applause, and authority. Christ was hungry and the temptation to turn the stone into bread appealed to his appetite. Temptations that appeal to our physical needs and desires fall into this category. This is being hungry and can also apply to being thirsty or even a sexual desire.
The second temptation appeals to our need to be appreciated, loved, and rescued by others. The temple was an important place to Jesus even as a young boy. It was a place where God was to be honored. By throwing himself off of the highest point of the temple, he would be rescued by angels. Therefore, this temptation appealed to his desire to gain applause and be worshipped.
The third temptation was gaining riches of the world. This temptation appealed to the desire for authority. Who doesn’t want to gain more riches and authority in this life? Consequently, every temptation we face can fit into one of these three categories.
The book explains in greater detail the four components of Satan’s temptation strategy. Satan first entices a lure by offering something attractive. Next, he appeals to a natural desire. Then, he shows us the means to get it. Finally, he gives an invitation by mixing lies and truth. He followed these four steps each time he tempted Jesus. Likewise, Adam and Eve are tempted in Genesis 3.
Jesus avoids Satan’s temptations by being anchored in God’s Word. He then makes a definitive choice to follow it. First, he quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 “Man shall not live on bread alone”. Secondly, he quotes Deuteronomy 6:16 “Do not put the Lord your God to the test”. The third time his answer comes from Deuteronomy 6:13 “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone”. The book of Deuteronomy is something Jesus would have studied as a child. As a result, He knew the scriptures and used them to guide his decisions.
If we are to avoid temptations, we should also know the Word of God. The Bible also teaches us that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. Therefore, it should be our weapon against temptations. In Louie Giglio’s new book, Don’t Give an Enemy a Seat at your Table, he describes lies Satan tempts us with, alongside specific scriptures to refute them. For example, the lie that we are weak and powerless can be erased with 2 Corinthians 12:9. Likewise, the lie that we cannot be used by God because of our past can be erased with Romans 8:1-2.
Avoiding temptation and growing the fruit of the Spirit
Little Pot is a vessel that grows fruit for the potter. Likewise, we are vessels created to grow the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5 describes how we are to live by the Spirit. Thereupon, we grow His fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.). The desires of the flesh are in contrast to this fruit. We described them as appetite, applause, and authority. Remember Satan will use these desires to tempt us. In addition, we are to “crucify” the flesh and its passions so we can live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:24).
The potter grows strawberries through His vessel in the story of The Little Pot. The strawberries represent the fruit of the Spirit. Recently, discovering worms in strawberries went viral on TikTok. Therefore, I believe there is a spiritual lesson here. Satan worms himself into our lives so he can tempt us. Then the fruit of the Spirit gets damaged. How can we remove Satan or “these worms” from within?
The TikTok videos suggest soaking the fruit in salt water. Salt is found throughout the Bible. In Matthew 5:13 we are told to be the salt of the earth. Our conversations should be seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6). Did you ever wonder exactly what that means? Annette Reeder, the Biblical nutritionist, does a great job of explaining the meaning and uses of salt in the Bible.
Her video and blog describe seven examples of biblical symbolism with salt. Consequently, it. is worth studying. In addition, we act as the salt of the world by avoiding temptation or simply removing worms from the fruit of the Spirit that grows through us.
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