Unmasking the Ancient Ways of Satan Part 3


1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”  Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV) 2010

 

“The Six Demonic Strategies of Satan”

 

I.             The Devil Attacks us at our Weakest Moments:

 

“After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him…”

The Devil did not come at Jesus on the first day of his fasting, not even half way there. The Devil came after Jesus on his fortieth day; the last day of Jesus’ fasting. When I look at the Five Basic Needs that physiologist and even Christian counselors agree on, I am able to see that the enemy will always attack us in those areas where our needs are not being met. If you are lacking Love, the enemy will present a situation where something that looks like love will come your way. This need of love is a need for us to possess a sense of belonging. That is why the family is such a powerful institution and the foundation of society because it is there that we are supposed to begin to fulfill this need to belong. The other basic needs are: Power, Freedom, Fun and Survival. I strongly believe that all of these needs can only be fulfilled in the manifested presence of God. He is the great “I am.” He ought to be all we need. However, in our journey, many of us look for people, places and outer experiences to fulfill these needs. It is not that we ought to be isolated from the world, but our relationship with others and our enjoyment of life should flow out of a healthy relationship with our Heavenly Father.

 

Jesus was in need of food; that is a Survival Need (Food, Water and Shelter). The Bible tells us that: “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry” (V. 2). The Devil, just like us, likes to win, so he knows exactly when to attack. Jesus has been fasting for forty days, so the enemy came with a temptation that was appealing to what the flesh needed at that moment; it was indeed Jesus’ weakest moment as the Bible recognized that Jesus was hungry. Jesus was operating in his human form and just as a human; he felt the need to eat food. Come on! We know how we feel after not eating for a few hours. We can be driving and are constantly bombarded with images of food: billboards and restaurants all over the place; even as we watch TV a great percent of the commercials we see are food related. We know what effect those commercials have on us, so imagine how the idea of “turning the stones to bread” sounded to Jesus’ flesh. Above all, God is the Great I Am! For God to reduce to a human must have been painful enough.

 

For many of us, it may be a different need; we may be going through a rejection and our sense of belonging is being affected. We may be going through the experience of having to go to work with a boss that is abusive; which affects our need for power and control. For others, you may be feeling bored to death and you want excitement in your life as your need for fun is manifested every moment. For others, you may be in a relationship where you feel controlled and monitored with every move you make as your need for freedom is not being fulfilled. It is important that you be able to identified those areas in your life where your needs are not being met, because those are the areas where Satan will try to come in and tempt you.

 

Jesus was clear in what was important, even as he was hungry and in need of food, he answered:

 

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (V. 4)

 

 Be aware of those areas in your life where your needs are not being fulfilled and go before God for the fulfillment of that need.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

One thought on “Unmasking the Ancient Ways of Satan Part 3

  1. We all, no matter what age or position in life, have unfulfilled needs. We all have temptations. I agree with what Richard Orbin says, “Most people want to be delivered from temptation But would like to stay in touch.”

    We have been taught the liturgical way of praying the Lord’s prayer, which is an accurate way of translating “Lead us not into temptation…” But most modern versions of the Bible translate the words “Do not lead us into temptation…” This seems to be a little more aggressive type of prayer. Lead us not can sound a little passive if you aren’t careful. I think we should pray a little more aggressively, DO NOT!! We are saying, Father, I am not messing around here, I am counting on you to lead me in the opposite direction of sin. I am counting on you for the fulfillment of all my needs. Really very few of us ever really just jump full-blown into a life of sin, most of us were led sort of slowly and subtly into it, and one day we just find ourselves lost, sunk deeply into a pit of problems that could have been avoided had we only been led away from temptation.

    A cattle rancher was asked how a cow gets lost, he replied, “Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of grass right next to a hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know, the cow has nibbled itself into being lost.

    Temptation is always very subtle. We each have unfulfilled needs that we will have to deal with all of our lives. Past generations called these “besetting sins,” as compared with other temptations that may be easier to overcome.

    Several years ago the term Fire Wall was only used in the construction world. All the rooms in this building have a two-hour Fire Wall protection and there are even a couple of areas with automatic doors that would close off areas in case of fire. Now we all have Fire Wall protection on our computers to keep hackers and viruses out of our computers. This part of the Lord’s prayer is what I call the Fire Wall Prayer. Jesus says ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. But a better translation is actually, Matthew 6:13 (NKJV) And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. Don’t ever forget that we are in the middle of a battle.
    I.John 10:10 (NASB) “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. Satan is a hacker who is constantly trying to disrupt our already corrupted operating system.

    I have prayed this for myself for over 30 years. It is amazing how it works. I don’t believe the devil made me do it, but I do believe that he is very willing to cater to my dark, fallen, sinful nature. But if you seriously begin to pray this prayer, you are asking God to keep you from nibbling yourself away from him and into temptation.

    The problem with temptation is not only with where it leads to, but who it leads us from. When we move towards temptation, it takes us away from Jesus. The purpose of the Lord’s prayer is to get us closer to the One who can deliver us from the evil one. We are fairly powerless to ever really keep ourselves from temptation. But the Good News is that Jesus is the means by which we are able to overcome temptation.

    How do we overcome these temptations? Walk in the light of the Word of God, so that we remain sensitive to any form of darkness. Stay in Scriptures day by day, not just when we feel that the pressure is on – lest it be too late.

    Even when we succumb to temptation, even in a minor way, confess it to God immediately. Confession should be part of our daily routine, as soon as we become conscious that we have done something that has grieved the Holy Spirit.

    Finally, take the good advise of the apostle Paul: “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim 2:22). There are times when the only way to overcome temptation is to run from it. Get away from situations, places, and people who make it easy for you to compromise your values. And run to God with all your unfulfilled needs.

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