James 5:1 (KJV) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Engaging The Devil

"And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread." Luke 4:1-3

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to fast for 40 days. When the days were finished, and he had not eaten during that time, the devil tempted him to perform a miracle in order to eat. When we are at a low point is often the time the devil tempts us, when our defenses are down.

"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

Notice what Jesus used for this battle - scripture. If we consistently read God's Word we, too, will be prepared to withstand Satan with scripture which comes instantly into our minds.

"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." Luke 4:5-7

I find it particularly fascinating that whereas in Verse 1, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, that after the 40 days "the devil took him up into an high mountain." It was not the Spirit who led him into temptation. God will never tempt us. He will, however, allow Satan to tempt us.

This is very interesting. We often read this without thinking, if we have read it many times. But, think about this. The Lord was tired, hungry and beginning to contemplate what was in store for him. The cross. Here was Jesus, who would reign and rule over the earth eternally, and He understood that. But, at this time Satan had been given the authority over the earth. It was his to do as he wished.

Think about what Jesus might have been thinking - that Satan was only a temporary ruler...the earth ultimately belonged to the Lord...and here was the devil willing to give it up now...why should the Lord go through the agony and persecution of the cross when he could have it all right now? He was the creator and judge of the earth and of Satan...why should he go through all the pain ahead when He could have it all now? He could take it all now, and judge Satan, too. Right now. Do you think he wasn't really tempted? I think he was. Why, then, did He turn it down? He did it ultimately for us. Salvation could never be offered to us if He deviated from the plan, the will of the Father.

"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." Luke 4:8

"For it is written," He said, once again using scripture as His weapon.

"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." Luke 4:9-11

Satan tempts the Lord again, and this time he uses scripture! Only he misuses it. In the cleverly deceptive way of which Satan is the master, he foolishly tries to use scripture against The Word Himself. Christ knew full well that this scripture was not appropriate for this situation. How important it is for us to know scripture so well that we recognize when it is being twisted and used incorrectly.

"And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:" Luke 4:12-14

Jesus, of course, did not succumb to the devil's wiles, but reminded him that He was the Lord of all - including Satan.

Notice also, that the scripture says that the devil departed from Him "for a season." He would be back, but the result would be the same. I believe the devil showed up again in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus suffered so much prior to his crucifixion.

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee to begin His ministry.

Satan was no match for Jesus. And he's no match for us when we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and when we are well armed with the knowledge of the scriptures.

Jesus Christ is our ultimate example of how to conduct spiritual warfare.

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Cor 15:57-58

A Child of the King