“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.” Luke 4:1–2a
Fighting temptation when you’re alone can be difficult for any believer. That’s when some of our greatest struggles come. But just because no other person can see or hear you doesn’t mean that you’re actually by yourself. The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness clearly demonstrates the unseen spiritual world. Even though Jesus was physically by Himself, both the Holy Spirit and the devil were there, as well as ministering angels (Mark 1:13). Since we are never truly alone, we don’t have to fight temptation on our own.
As in any battle, we need to be aware of how our enemy works. Unlike God, the devil cannot be in all places at all times. Because he is limited by time and space, he may never personally tempt us. Still, he instigates worldly influences and even uses our own fleshly desires to seduce us. His goal is to persuade us to think and act in ways that are contrary to godliness. And he knows we’re most vulnerable during times of solitude. That’s why understanding how Jesus defeated temptation in the wilderness is vital to our spiritual battles.
Although Jesus entered the wilderness without another physical being, He didn’t go alone. He went in the fullness of the Holy Spirit; the same Spirit who indwells believers today. He equips us by His continual presence; enlightens us through understanding of scriptural truth; and empowers us to stand against the devil’s schemes. If Jesus didn’t take on temptation without relying on the Holy Spirit, then neither should we.
Is your greatest temptation one that nobody else sees or knows? Then remember, fighting temptation when you’re alone is not the same as fighting temptation on your own. We may be no match for the enemy but he’s no match for the Lord. Jesus is already victorious over every temptation we face. All the resources of the Spirit are available through our relationship with Him. The only thing God requires is faith to follow as the Spirit leads. While He may lead us through some difficult places, He never leaves us there alone.