Luke 4: 1 – 13
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry. Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’” Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
The enemy’s job is to tempt and destroy. We know that he roars around looking for someone to devour. One thing the enemy can’t do is devour someone who is full of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was tempted the scripture first says he was full of the Holy Spirit.
The enemy tempts us in three ways:
- Weaknesses – The enemy knows our physical and fleshly weaknesses. He uses this knowledge against us.
- Earthly Riches – The enemy knows how easier life could be with earthly riches. He uses this desire against us.
- Scripture Manipulation – When all else fails, the enemy will distort the scripture in an attempt to make us fall.
There are steps we must take before we can pass these tricks of the enemy. We must,
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit
- Recognize our weaknesses
- Know the Scriptures
The enemy studies us and knows each and every one of our weaknesses. He knows exactly what to do, what to say, and what to expose you to, in order to make you fall. So, what’s your weakness?
- Is your weakness food?
- Is your weakness 6’3 with a bald head?
- Is your weakness alcohol?
- Is your weakness drugs?
- Is your weakness fear?
It’s important that we recognize our weaknesses because the enemy has memorized them.
“It’s important that we recognize our weaknesses because the enemy has memorized them”
When Jesus entered the wilderness the enemy knew he hadn’t ate. This was his physical weakness. Because the enemy knew of this weakness it became his first attack. But, Jesus quickly says “No” to the enemy’s proposition of bread by quoting scripture “people do not live on bread alone”.
In order to pass the tricks of the enemy we must know the Word of God. The Word of God is our sword to defeat Him. But, the enemy won’t stop after the first attack. He will try again.
The enemy then begin to tempt Jesus by offering him kingdoms of the world if He would only worship him. Jesus again replied with the Scripture, “you must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him”.
What has the enemy offered you? Nowadays the enemy doesn’t show up and ask you outright to bow down and worship Satan. He knows that every Christian would say “No” to that. But, he may offer you a promotion that takes you away from your ministry. He may send a relationship that pulls you away from your time with Christ. He may offer you a new deal that makes you lower your standards. The enemy will entice and tempt us by offering more money, exposure, and fame. The cost of these things may be our morals, values, and Christianity. Christ lets us know we cannot serve two masters. Therefore, if we choose that promotion and that relationship instead of Christ, who do you think we are really serving? Ouch! But, it’s the truth. Anything that takes us away from our Savior is taking the place of Him.
“Anything that takes us away from our Savior is taking the place of Him”
This is why it is so important to spend time with Him. He will open our eyes to the tricks of the enemy. During your time of study the Holy Spirit will let you know exactly who you are serving. Use the word of God to defeat the enemy.
But, the enemy is not stupid by any means. He also knows the scripture. The third time he tempted Jesus he attempted to distort the scripture. He quoted scripture and tempted Jesus at the same time. But Jesus quickly responded by saying “you must not test the Lord your God”. The only thing I can say is study, study, study! There are so many “new” teachings in the world of Christianity. I always find “new” teachings a little weird because the word of God has remained the same. It’s important that we seek God for ourselves. The Holy Spirit will guide you and make you aware of what is true. The enemy can quickly distort the Word of God. We can only pass this trick of the enemy if we also know the Word of God.
After trying three times, the enemy left. BUT the scriptures said he left him until the next opportunity came. The Word says that a man born of a woman is of a few days and those days are filled with trouble. Just because we pass one trick of the enemy does not mean he will leave us alone. He will wait for his next opportunity to strike. This is why we must always be ready for battle. The war we fight is spiritual. Be on guard and ready to battle just like Christ.
Would we be able to pass the tricks of the enemy like our Savior? The way he tempted Jesus relates to us in so many ways. He quickly recognizes our weaknesses and uses them against us. He also knows the desires of our heart. He knows how easier life would be with more 0’s in our bank accounts. He loves to tempt us by showing how much money we could make by stepping away from the Word of God and into the world. The enemy even knows how much we love the Word of God that he would distort it to use it against us.
We must stay on our guard and recognize the enemy when he appears. Recognize your weaknesses. Pray over them and give them to God. If we recognize them it makes it that more difficult for the enemy to use them against us. Don’t let the enemy expose and use your weakness to destroy you.
“Don’t let the enemy expose and use your weakness to destroy you”
The enemy knows many of us will falter after his very first attack because our flesh is so weak. Will you allow the enemy to get through steps 1 – 3 and then retreat? Or will you fall after his first strike?
So, What’s your weakness? Have you given it to God or will you allow the enemy to use it against you as his first step in battle?
Lord, I give my weaknesses and struggles to you. Thank you for loving me regardless of my weaknesses. I pray that I continue to recognize where I fall short. I know you are there to complete me and make me whole. Please continue to cover me with your grace and provide me with the strength I need to withstand the tricks of the enemy.