There are 47 verses in the Bible that talk about practice. One of the most famous appears at the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:24. This call to action suggests that Jesus isn’t interested in individuals who merely know what biblical commandments say. Rather, Jesus wants his followers to put his advice into action. Even if you experience failure, yesterday’s lessons learned can result in future steps of faith.
Then Jesus was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. 2 And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [[a]loaves of] bread. 4 But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God, Matthew 4:1-4.
Jesus didn’t skip ahead and say to the Devil, I’m ready for you now. Rather, Jesus spent more than a month fasting and praying for this spiritual encounter. The Holy Spirit guided Jesus as he prepared for this day. The Devil attacked Jesus from three different angles: physical hunger, mental awareness, and spiritual focus. Jesus uses words from the Old Testament to counter punch the Devil’s persuasions.
If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit [g]we have our life in God, let us go forward [h]walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit,] Galatians 5:25.
While Jesus was successful, mankind has failed to obey God daily, Romans 3:9-12. When God’s grace gives you a second chance, yesterday’s failed experiences can be used to avoid making the same mistakes over and over a again, 1 Corinthians 10:13. This is where the apostle Paul steps in with valuable advice. As you search for a way out of temptation, keep in step with the Holy Spirit so that yesterday’s experiences results in future steps of faith.
by Jay Mankus