It was only after 40 days in the wilderness when Jesus was very hungry that Satan brought his first temptation. In her book Anonymous- Jesus’ hidden years…and yours, Alicia Britt Chole describes this temptation as the temptation of appetite.
Just as Satan tempted Jesus at the level of His appetite when He was most vulnerable…he will attack us.
He will attack through our appetite for food, sex, popularity and any other appetite we have.
The essence of the temptation was for Jesus to satisfy His appetite through His own power.
There was nothing wrong with Jesus eating bread.
It was wrong for Jesus to obtain that bread on His own power…at His own timing.
God has given us built-in desires for many things that are good.
Satan tempts us to satisfy those desires in our own time…and in our own way.
The sin is not in the desire…the sin is in how we satisfy that desire.
We are created to nourish ourselves with food.
But food must not become our idol. We must develop the ability to say no to our desire for food.
Regardless of the particular appetite, we must learn to control that appetite…or the appetite will control us.
We must learn to control the timing…and the means of gratification.
Jesus certainly had the ability to turn those stones into bread.
But Satan was telling Jesus to turn the stones into bread for something more than simply satisfying His hunger.
Satan wanted Jesus to perform that miracle to prove He was the Son of God.
Satan said, “If you are the Son of God…”.
Satan appealed to the appetite of hunger in order to manipulate Jesus.
He will appeal to our appetites…in order to manipulate us.
If we have not developed self-control over our appetites, Satan will be successful in manipulating us.
Fasting from food…from whatever…strengthens our self-control over that appetite.
Fasting is to self-control what weightlifting is to bodybuilding.
As you strengthen your self-control…you lessen your vulnerability to Satan’s temptations.
Prayer: Lord, show me the appetites that still exert their control over me…and help me periodically fast from them.