“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. 6 “If 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…