How can you overcome when you get attacked by the Devil? Is there a method to the attacks? Can we avoid them?
The temptations of Jesus Christ in the wilderness is an incredible study across the four gospels. It teaches us about the power and authority the Devil wields on earth and the arrogance he has towards God. This arrogance carries over to every part of his three-fold ministry covered in John 10:10a, to steal, to kill and to destroy. What did Jesus Christ retaliate with? What did he arm himself with? The Word of God.
In the first record here, what did the devil hit him with? In Jesus Christ’s physical discomfort. He was hungry from fasting.
“And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” Luke 4:3
“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Luke 4:4
Jesus quoted scripture. He used the Word of God as a sword parrying back and forth with the Devil’s words.
What did the devil throw next?
“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” vs. 5-7
Wow. How could the devil offer him power/authority if it wasn’t his to give? It was his. He tricked Adam and Eve out of their dominion back in the Garden of Eden. Since then, he worked hard to kill God’s people and then he tried to destroy us with a flood. He sent diseases, famine, pestilence hoping to wipe them out. He corrupted them with idols, persuaded them to worship him or cannibalize each other. His end goal for us is worship of him or death or both. But God needs someone to stop him. God asks us to stand. Will you stand with Him? What was Jesus’ response to this pressure?
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” vs. 8
So then the devil tries something else on Jesus. The pleasure didn’t work, the pressure didn’t make him budge. Look what he uses next.
“And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” vs. 9,10
WHOA there. Did the devil just take Jesus Christ to church and beat him over the head with the Word? What was the tactic there? He tries to hit him with doubt in the center of his believing. He says; God says he’ll protect you, why not test Him?
What did Jesus reply with?
“And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.”
The devil was testing the one true God. “Jesus if you’ll throw yourself off this church, God will have to protect you since you are His kid.”
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” James 1:13-14
If Jesus Christ would have tried this funny business on the temple, it would have sinned. A lot of immature believers try this. They say, “Oh, God will protect me if I …” Or “God will get me through when I make a deliberately bad decision with money, time, people, relationships etc…” Then they get mad at God when things don’t work out or they face real consequences. That is arrogance and immaturity. It is testing God which does not work and is off the Word, but the devil loves it. Look…he tried it on the Son of God. And if it’s something the Devil tries over and over, then is it from God?
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own (conceited, thick-headed, egotistical) understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10
Jesus Christ was the best example of the last two verses. And when God lifts you up that victory lasts an eternity!
God bless you today!