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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.

5 thoughts on “Know your foe”

  1. Takes a good set of gonads to confront satan! And I not refuting your wonderful scriputre, it speaks for itself but I have many christian friends that use the devil as an excuse. When do you discern between what is an”act” of evil and what is an act of enforced self behaviour, bad choices, etc. It seems to easy to give the devil the blame for things that we exactly have control over…What do you think?

  2. Yes, many folks jokingly say “The devil made me do it.” Satan can temp you, he can lead you, but ultimately, it’s your choice to decide to do something. Or not to do it.
    One of the most wonderful things God has given us is free choice. We can choose to do right, or wrong. Ultimately, it comes down to a simple question when deciding things- does this honor God?
    God loves us so much that He’s provided for us to eternally live with Him- a choice we must all make to accept or reject His forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
    I pray that you’ll make Christ the Saviour in your life- the blessing lasts forever!

  3. Jon, one of my most prized possessions is a small New Testament pocket Bible that I was given by Major Gary O’Day, the second day after I arrived at Tech School, Sheppard Air Force Base Texas. Inside is his hand written inscription that records that on 30 March 1994 I officially bore witness to him that I had recieved Christ and thereby recieved my salvation from Christ. When I came home, 99% of my memorabilia and Air Force Momentos were either lost by the airline or shortly afterward. The one thing that I’ve held onto this entire time is that little Bible that holds something so important. Thanks for the website! Todd

  4. Jon, I can relate to the story. I and the family have had some tough times this last year. I’m sorry to admit that at one point I questioned Gods will, why were things going the way they were? The wife and I prayed on the matter and now things are looking great for us. I spoke to my pastor about it and now I understand more. We had a ceremony at our church last month and dedicated our son to Christ. My life and that of my family are moving in the right direction and we owe it all to God.

    God bless you,
    Roy

  5. Jon you are so right. My family has been dealing with adversity with my dad. He succomb to temtation of alcohol and drugs four years ago. The stessfull nature of his job was something he could not handle after 30 years on the job as a firefighter.

    Through our pastor, friends and family we were able to provide him with a goal. To rid himself of burden and any temptation following gods will. It has been no easy task keeping up with him. There were a few falls along the way. The worst one was the passing of my grandfather, his father-in-law last year.

    The lords will was far stronger in him than we could have hoped. He has been clean since then, allowed god to be his saviour.

    As Roy said, our family is moving in the right direction and we owe it all to god.
    Drew

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