Victory In The Wilderness


Hello Beloved and welcome to Beloved Women’s
Bible Study with me Christina Patterson, where we encourage uplift and equip women in the
love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. This Bible Study Series is titled Believing
Better: Recognizing and Overcoming The Lies That Stop Us From Living Freely In Christ. We will be studying Matthew 4:1-11. In this
passage we will find Jesus in the wilderness tired, hungry and under great pressure. And
to add fuel to an already trying situation the devil himself pays Jesus a visit to tempt
Him. As we study this lesson, maybe you are in
a trying situation, a job loss, a difficult relationship, a bad health report. It’s
out of your control and you are trying to do what Jesus would want you to do but this
situation is certainly not making it easy. Some of you have faced the same problem over
and over again for long periods of time. Some of you are facing a great deal of temptation.
You want to live for God but your flesh craves the things of this world. And every time you
decide to do what’s right there’s this voice in your head convincing you out of it.
So maybe you’re at the point of thinking, why even try, why even kid myself, I can’t
do this. Now some of you may look completely perfect
on the outside, sweet husband, loving children, serving at church every Sunday. But internally
no one knows the mental battle that’s going on inside for your heard.No one knows The
energy you have to use every day to fight away the lies the enemy is trying to plant. Anxious thoughts thatare slowing becoming
overwhelmingly consuming like: You look fat today, oh your husbands late,
he’s probable cheating on you, your children don’t respect you, your work is not appreciated.
You’re not doing enough for God, God is mad at you. That’s why He hasn’t answered
that prayer. It’s lies like these that slowly turn our hearts cold, angry and bitter. If any of these scenarios describe you, then
I might say you are facing a wilderness season. As you find yourself with limited resources,
you’re a tired, you feel you don’t have what you need to make it through. You just
cannot even. And on top of that you are trying to live for Jesus, but this wilderness it
making following Jesus look less appealing, less desirable and This, this living for God
in the face of temptation, tests and trials feels impossible. But we Christians have a cure for the impossible:
Jesus Christ. And in this Bible Study we will see Jesus show us the way thought the wilderness.
We will learn that not only is God with us but that He is in fact empowering us along
the way. If you are in the wilderness or know someone who is be encouraged, there’s hope. I have a group of friends and we call ourselves
the sister circle. The Sister Circle is comprised of myself, my friends LaMonica,Nikki and Tiffany.
Now I met Tiffany in middle school. And I remember one day she came to me and she said
she was going to try out for the track team and so I was like guess I’ll try out too.
We both made the team but Tiffany was always faster than me. She was a sprinter and she
was good. However at one track meet Tiffany was running the 100 meter dash. In her particular
heatthe race was only between Tiffany and one other girl. When the gun went off to start
the race, for some reason Tiffany did not hear it. So the other girl gets out for her
blocks, starts running and leaves Tiffany behind. Our entire track team were screaming
at Tiffany “go go go” Tiffany finally realized what was going on and started to
run. But it was not looking good. The 100 meter dash is the shortest race, a bad start
would in most cases cost you the race. It looked like Tiffany would lose this race.
It appeared that this one mistake that Tiffany made would cost her the win. I’m wondering how many people are listening
today feeling that same way about your relationship with God. It’s looking impossible, it’s
not looking good. That mistake you made has you feeling like you can never be victorious
in a life for Christ. That trail you are facing has you thinking you can’t make it through. Here’s the thing. Although it looked as
if Tiffany would lose, she didn’t. She quickly closed the gap between herself and her opponent,
passed her and won the race. You know how she was able to do that? Well for one she
was good sprinter and not to take away from that, but the main reason why Tiffany won
that race was because her opponent was not that good. It looked like her opponent would
win but her opponent was quite slow. Had Tiffany only looked her original circumstances, and
the appearance that she would lose and given up and not even tried to run the race she
would have forfeit a victory. With that I want to encourage if you are in
a situation where you feel like you are losing in your walk with God, if it looks like the
enemy has you right where he wants you, if you feel like all the odds are against you
to not give up girlfriend because your enemy is not as big and threating as he seems. We
are reminded in 1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have
overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. I know that as some of you are listening you
might be in the race for your Christian life and it’s feeling like you are way behind,
it feels like you are heavy with temptation, tests and trials and all types of things coming
at you and it just seems unfair. It just seems like you aren’t going to win and you aren’t
going to make it. Well that’s exactly who this Bible study is
for today because I want to encourage you to get out of your blocks and to keep running
because victory is already yours and I don’t care how bad it looks I don’t care how bad
the reports are I don’t care how heavy the temptation is weighing on you Jesus has already
won the victory for you. Jesus says in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in
me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome
the world.” The enemy will have you believe certain lies
to get you off track. If he can make you think you lost before you’ve even got out the
blocks he can quickly derail you from living the life God has for you. But I want you to
know that even our Savior Jesus Christ experienced the same trials, tests and temptation you
are facing now. In this text for this study Jesus experienced this temptation in the wilderness
so that while you are in your wilderness season you can find comfort through his. It is my prayer that through the example of
Jesus Christ we might be able to find hope, peace and strength even when surrounded by
temptation, even when our health is fading, even when everything around us is just falling
apart, when our marriages are failing, when our kids are acting crazy, when we lose our
jobs, when we don’t know how we will pay our next bill. When all of life’s uncertainties
come our way, in this studies scripture Jesus is showing us how to win anyways. So I hope
that you will join me for this journey as we unpack this scripture to see the beautiful,
life-giving and comforting truths that Jesus is showing us in His season of wilderness. Let’s go ahead and start in prayer. Dear
Heavenly Father thank you for your daughters participating in this Bible study. I pray
God that You would help to remove the lies that we are believing that are preventing
us from truly living freely for You God. I Pray God that You help us to see what lies
that we’re believing and that You would help us to believe better God so that we can
live better for You God and can live the abundant and free lives that You have called us to
live. In Jesus Christ Name I pray, Amen. So to get started we’re going to go ahead
and read the text for this study. I’m going to be reading Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11
and I’m going to be reading from the New International Version. It reads: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the
wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was
hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones
to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall
not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and
had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he
said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning
you, and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give
you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan!
For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and
attended him. So in this text we just read that Jesus enters
the wilderness, fasts for 40 days and is tempted by the devil yet He successfully resists every
temptation and is able to move forward to complete His ministry. And in doing so I believe
that Jesus shows us how to pass the tests and overcome the temptation we face in our
lives. Now I know what you’re thinking. Jesus is
God so, how inthe world could I ever possibly even think that I can follow His example.
And you are right. Jesus is God. But He is also flesh. And in the tests and temptations
we just read Jesus faced and overcame, He did so completely operating in the flesh and
not His deity. I believe He intentionally does this to set an example that we can actually
apply to our lives and do ourselves. Let’s check out Hebrews 4:15: For we do not have a high priest who is unable
to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just
as we are–yet he did not sin. Now I love that the NIV says empathize because
some translations simply say sympathize and there is a difference. If you’ve lost a
loved one and someone comes to you and says I’m so sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine
how difficult this must be for you. That sympathy. But if someone comes to you starts crying
with you and says, I lost a loved one too, I too personally know how deep this wound
is because I have one too. That’s empathy. So when you are in that wilderness season,
when you are being tempted in every way to turn from God and believe the lies of the
evil one and tested on every level to just give up Jesus knows exactly what that actually
feels like. We serve a God, Jesus Christ, who would never have us go through a season
that He has never been through Himself. Jesus could have easily turned the rock into
bread. He could have turned it into filet minion had He wanted to. Jesus could have
easily had legions of angels come to his rescue. When satan offers Jesus all the kingdoms of
this world in turn for Jesus worshipping him, Jesus could have easily turned around to satanand
said no, you better recognize, you bow down and worship me and satan would have had to
do that. But Jesus did not do any of that. In this
tempting that Jesus endures in the wilderness Jesus does not operate in any level of His
deity because this passage is not about Jesus versus satan. This whole encounter is about
Jesus showing us the way out of temptation and how to be victorious in our testing and
most importantly He’s pointing us to a better way than this world. As we look at each temptation
that Jesus overcomes we will see important lessons that Jesus wants us to learn and invaluable
wisdom that He wants us to grasp that will prepare us to live for God even in this fallen
world. I hope that you will take this passage personally as a message straight from Heaven
to your heart that Jesus overcame the wilderness and satan so that you can too because Jesus
is showing us the way to hope, power and strength found only in Him. Thank you so much for watching this week’s Beloved Women’s Bible study as we continue our believing better series. Stay tuned for a sneak peek at next week’s video. I want to let you know that the entire Believing Better series with group Bible study guides is now available for download. Believing Better is a four session video study great for your next bible study, small group or even individual use. Learn more at belovedwomen.org. And while you’re there be sure to subscribe to our e-mail list to receive our weekly devotion “Hello Beloved!”, exclusive content, boutique discounts, giveaways, and more all delivered directly to your inbox. Now enjoy your sneak peek at next week’s video Bible study. Ok so the same Holy Spirit that just came down from Heaven like a dove ushering in the voice of God that proclaims God’s love to His son then leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil? What in the world?

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