You can’t possibly defeat an enemy without knowing that enemy. This takes study and analysis. Learning how your enemy attacks allows you to prepare the best defense against him. We know this in war, in sports and even in business. But we seem to forget this when it comes to the most important battle of all, the Spiritual one. Satan is real and he is your enemy. Knowing him will help you to protect yourself from his advances. Today’s blog looks at one battlefield – Temptations.
Satan showed his hand when he attempted to tempt Jesus. Like most predators, Satan will normally sit back and observe, looking for the easiest prey to consume. But in Matthew 4, Satan went after the head of the pack and tried to tempt Jesus. To do this, he had to uses his best weapons. Learning about these weapons give us a glimpse at what we need to know to protect ourselves from these attacks.
Satan’s first attack on Jesus was on basis sustenance. After waiting for Jesus to be in an extremely needy situation (humanly speaking), he tried to offer his own solution. “And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”” (Matt 4:2-3) In other words… if God really loved and cared for you… you would not be so hungry and in need.
His second attack was aimed at any doubt of the depth of love from God. ““If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”” (Matt 4:6) In other words… if God really was a God of love, would He really let anything bad happen to you?
Then the third attack, he went for pride. “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”” (Matt 4:8-9) In other words… you don’t need to wait for God to act, you can have it all now.
Just about every time Satan works at tempting you, he uses one of these three tactics.
- Lack of basic needs.
- Doubt about bad things happening.
- Pride in what we could really have.
These are his ‘big guns’. Chances are, if you think back to every time you faced difficult temptations, it would fit into one of these three categories. The best thing about this lesson from Jesus, is that despite the fact that Satan had three different tactics, Jesus had one single, repeatable and unbeatable defense… in all three situations. He responded all three times with, “It is written” (vs. 4,7,10)
Knowing scripture is vital. After all, Satan was actually using scripture as well to make his points. However he was always taking things out of context. This is why simply memorizing a verse is not what matters most. Studying and learning those verses in context is what matters.
Read your bible. See the verses in their context and prepare yourself for the attacks of Satan. The more you serve the One true God, the more of a threat you are to Satan… and the more he will try to tempt you away. Be prepared, know your enemy so you can defeat him.
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