"At once, this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights He was tested by Satan. Wild animals were His companions, and angels took care of Him." Mark 1:12-13 (The Message)
I have this friend that has this dilemma--He has been offered this job that is closer to his girlfriend and pays more money. But he also is a dad to 3 children and this job will take him 5 hours from them. So he is torn between the nice new job and the girlfriend and knowing that he should stay at the old job so that he can be around for his children.
His walk with the Lord is somewhat shaky. He wants to do the right thing, but Satan is dangling this temptation in front of him.
When he was telling me this, the story about Jesus in the desert came to my mind. (Luke 4:1-13) Satan knows what we desire just as much as Jesus does. He knows how to play games with your mind and spirit that can make seem that it was or is the choice you should make, but it's not.
To me it's a no brainer--stay with your kids. But I'm not making the decision. Have you ever been there? You're trying so hard to stay on the path that you feel the Lord wants you on, and then oops, there's a concession stand, right there in the middle of the road. It has all the things that you want on it, but what we have to remember to ask ourselves is this--are those things what your Heavenly Father wants for you?
Satan tempted Jesus several times that time in the desert. He even used scripture to try to trick Jesus up. Jesus was hungry--Satan tempted with bread even serving it with a Bible verse. Jesus didn't fall for it, He came back with His verse. He offered Jesus power over all of the kingdoms--Jesus didn't flinch, He came back with His verse. Satan taunted Jesus that if He really believed in His Heavenly Father, He would jump off this cliff, knowing that the Father would save the Son, complete with a Bible verse--Jesus calmly stated 'no need' and came back with His verse.
So, there will be times that you are tempted, and please remember, not all temptations from Satan are going to be obvious. They are not all going to be flashing Code red, Bad idea, Satan Alert. They are not going to be on the list of the Top 10 'You Shall Not's..." Because if you noticed, Satan offered Jesus bread. Is eating bread when you are hungry bad? No, of course not. But if you haven't checked in with your Heavenly Father and find out if that is what He wants for you, then, yes, it could be the wrong choice, for that particular time.
My heart's desire, "when I grew up", was to get married at the age of 18 and have lots of children. That was my dream. Well, when I turned 21 and wasn't married, I panicked and married the first guy that asked me. It ended in sadness. Looking back now, I see the temptation story in my own life. Was it wrong to marry? No. But did I check in with my Heavenly Father to make sure this was the mate He had picked out for me? Not really. I thought I did. I used the worldly thought that He wanted me happy and if this made me happy, He was alright with it.
When you are tempted by something that you are not sure about, do what Jesus did. Check with your Father by praying and getting into His word. Jesus had His Father's powerful words to counteract Satan's. And you can see, Satan also knows God's powerful words. So, you truly need to be immersed in His word and presence so that you have discernment to know the truth.
So, please, don't be afraid of temptation. But be ready. Be spiritually ready. How? By feeding everyday on the words of your God (Bible life), by being in constant communication with Him (prayer life), and by surrounding yourself with mature, godly, spirit-filled people. You do these three steps, you'll be O.K.!