In my last post, we talked about the game of chess and how, in our lives, we are either pawns, or players. In order to be players we must understand what the rules are. We need to know what we can do, what we have power over and what our adversary can do as well. We can’t just walk into a game, especially the game of life blind. Most people do though. They are ruled by their emotions, guided by the limited knowledge they gain through their five senses and depend solely on the education they can get in this world. Well, the devil, our adversary is the god of this world according to 2 Cor. 4:4. We might as well admit that he rigged the knowledge of this world towards his advantage.
This leads me to my first point.
The secrecy of his moves is why he is successful. The devil doesn’t want you reading this post. He doesn’t want you to know that you have power, or legal rights over him. He doesn’t want you to know you can stop him in his tracks! So he keeps all that a big secret. The bigger the power play, the bigger the secret. Why would he care if you know what he’s up to? Because you have great power too. Enough power to change the direction of lives, hearts, agendas and the entire world. You can change influence, structures in governments, hearts and agendas of whole cities and states. Yes, little ol’ you!
In my first post you learned that you have power. Now, you must learn how the devil plays to win. What he does to knock or pull you off track. Once you know that, you can be aware when you are under attack and respond using the power God gave you through the name of Jesus Christ.
The devil has three power plays in your life.
He’d like to either push you off the Word and off your walk with God using pressure or he’d like to pull you off, lure you off or tempt you off using pleasure. Or the last thing, and this is the trickiest one, he appeals to your pride. Many a christian has fallen prey to the manipulation of their own pride.
How do I know?
That’s what he did to Jesus Christ in the wilderness.
In the first record here, what did the devil hit him with? Jesus Christ’s was in great 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
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. When God lifts you up, that victory lasts an eternity!
God bless you today!