Know your foe

I was studying the Bible today while at lunch, reading Luke’s account of Christ being tempted in the Wilderness. I really felt like God had some lessons in it for me.

Luke 4

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.”

5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”

8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’

9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:

‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’

12 Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

I felt that God taught me several things as I read through this about the nature of Satan.

  • He’s bold- He’s not tempting just anyone- he’s tempting Christ. The Son of God.
  • He’s crafty- Jesus was in the wilderness 40 days.┬áHe ate nothing while out there. Satan will look for us when we are weakest, and then hit us hard.
  • He questions God’s provision- Satan questions whether The Son of God can depend on His Heavenly Father for nourishment. In essence Satan is saying “God won’t provide for you. I will.” Remember- Satan is the father of lies.
  • He questions God’s plan- Satan tried to give Jesus that which was already His. Jesus was already blessed by His Father. Yet Satan tried to deceive Him- just as he will us.
  • He encouraged irrational behaviour- Jump off a building. Wow.
  • He did not get discouraged- He left- for a while. Satan did not give up. He won’t give up tempting us either.

Satan is the father of lies. He is crafty, deceitful, patient and hateful. He’ll send bad our way to achieve his means. He’ll send things apparently good to trick us into bad. He’ll try and get us to question every aspect of God’s promises to us, and if one thing doesn’t work, he’ll try another angle. In his sermon this past Sunday, my pastor was preaching on dealing with grief. He said “Death is the result of sin, sin is the result of Satan.” Satan is the enemy. In battle, you must know your enemy and his ways.Notice though, Jesus’ response. He fought back with a weapon we all have- The Word. Every time Satan tried to discourage Jesus, to trick Him, to make Him question His Father- Jesus simply spoke God’s Word and refuted him.

That’s why it is so important that as Christians we be grounded and firm on God’s Word. Through His Word, we know His love and provision. We see His promises. And armed with that, we can refute Satan’s advances.