The temptation of Jesus

Matthew 4 talks about the temptation of Jesus when He was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert and there He didn’t eat or drink anything for 40 days. When the forty days were over he was hungry and devil came to tempt Him.

Holy Spirit is given by the God the father as our eternal helper and the leading of the Spirit always takes us to the next spiritual level for the Glory of God. The Spirit took Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. There may have been occasions in your life where you might wonder how in your life you have come to a place where nothing seems to be moving, no progress in life and it seems life has come to the dead end despite all your efforts to live a Godly life. Don’t be discouraged. Be patient and you will know at the end that it was the Holy Spirit who has brought you to the desert for your spiritual growth. And at the end you will be declared more than victorious in Christ.

Jesus was tempted by the devil in three different ways and he still uses the same strategy to tempt those who want to live a Godly life in Jesus.

“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to turn into bread.”

Devil comes to tempt us by looking at our immediate need. If you are not financially well off, single, unemployed, etc. he will whisper in your ear, “Why are you not blessed in a particular area in your life even though God has made clear promises to make your prosperous in His word?” Thief comes to steal kill and destroy and his intent is to use your immediate need to sow a seed of doubt in your relationship with your heavenly father that has been restored by the blood of the lamb. Don’t give into the negative thoughts. Use the sword of the Spirit and destroy the word of the enemy by saying, “Even though my God blesses me or not, He is still my God and Saviour.” And the devil will run away.

“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, “He will command his angels to lift you up…”

When devil sees that He couldn’t weaken your relationship with heavenly father, He tried to weaken our stance on the word of God by creating doubts about God’s promises. You cannot possibly stand on the word of God if you only read the Bible but never takes time to understand or meditate on the promises of God. Those who study the Word of the Lord  day and night are filled with Godly wisdom, “I have more wisdom than my teachers for I meditate on your word.”

In order to defeat devil, you don’t need human wisdom but the wisdom of God that comes down by spending time in His presence and meditating on His word. Jesus says “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you” This is the life that you need to defeat the devil and his forces that come to take your faith away from the promises of God.

Be filled up with the word of God so that what comes out when tempted is the sword of the word of God to kill the evil forces.

“All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.”

Often time, a believer is tempted to think that why do ungodly make more progress in their lives? Why those who are away from the Lord seem successful more than those who cry before the Lord day and night? Sometimes, we think their lives are better than us. Beware! This is the tool of the enemy to take away your inheritance that is kept for those who believe and keep their courage until the end. When things seem rough and no solution is imminent, worship your God and He will fill you with Godly strength, the way Paul and Silas were filled with power and the doors of the prison were opened. Don’t be discouraged for that will prove to the enemy that he has become successful in his attempts to make you  worship him. Worship your God and only Him, for He is the living God. The  tempter will run away and the angels will come to help you.

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Know your enemy

Ephesians 5:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Paul emphasizes the fact that our struggle is not against the flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. Since the nature of the enemy is to try to deceive God’s people by presenting them with half-truth in a devious manner, the children of God need to be fully equipped with the spiritual armour and be aware of the plans of the enemy as Paul says in 2Cor.2:11 “For we are not unaware of his schemes.”.

Enemy knows the word of God but his intention is to take the glory that is due to most High God. Bible says in Rev. 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive all Glory, Honour and Power.” Enemy is well aware of this truth for he himself was an angel but when he became full of pride (Isaiah 14:13), he was thrown down to the earth. His intention now is to spread half-truth among the children of God and somehow make them believe in his lies. His lies are as unique as God’s promises are and it calls for a great responsibility on the part of God’s children to fill themselves up with the WORD of God and use the appropriate word to cut the lie that rises against it, the way Jesus did when He was tempted (Matthew 4).

As mentioned in Eph. 5:12, Enemy uses four types of forces to deceive God’s children

Rulers:

Jesus promises in Rev. 3:21 “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne just as I overcame and sat down with my father on his throne.” Since the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. In response to Jesus’ promise of making the overcomers rulers, enemy creates rulers who work day and night with the intention that God’s people may not receive this particular blessing and not be able to sit with Jesus on his throne. Enemy does it by creating doubts in the mind of a believer the way he tried to tempt Jesus by saying “If you are son of most high God, ask and these stones will turn into bread.”  Enemy still comes to God’s children with the same question “If you are God’s son or daughter, why  doesn’t he  fulfill your immediate need”. Jesus’ way is the only way to quiet the enemy. As the spirit of the Lord led Paul to say in Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things.”

Authorities:

Jesus promises in Rev. 2:26, “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.” In enemy’s pursuit to stop God’s people from receiving this blessing, he has assigned authorities who work hard to discourage overcomers that they may stop in-between of their work for the Lord and not reach to the end. Please note that the promise is only for those who persist till the end. Enemy sends authorities to work among those who are struggling to live a Godly life, and tries to discourage them to the point that they may quit and not get to the end of what God has purposed for them. Have you started working for the Lord but have stopped in-between or don’t feel motivated or inspired anymore. Be aware that the enemy is not just after stealing your motivation or encouragement but to steal your authority that Jesus has in place just for you.

Powers of this dark world:

Jesus speaks to the Church in Sardis in Rev. 3:4, “Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me dressed in white for they are worthy.” Powers of dark world come to create doubts in the minds of believers about their worth in the sight of God. Sometimes we judge ourselves by what we do or what others think of us but this standard is not the one that Jesus uses. We become worthy not by what we do or think but by the presence of Jesus with us and in us. His presence covers us with true righteousness, and then we are counted worthy in his sight. What a joy! Don’t let powers of dark world create confusion in you about your true worth.

Spiritual forces of evil:

Jesus says in Rev. 2:7, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Since the spirit is always speaking and eagerly seeking those who are open to his voice, enemy is preparing spiritual forces to make the ears heavy and minds dull so that unbelievers can’t see the light of the gospel. As Paul speaks in 2 Cor.4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of God.” Please note that these forces work freely among those who have accepted Christ with mouth but have no desire to know HIM better by spending time with him. The more time we spend with the Lord, listening to him, the healthier our spiritual person becomes who feeds on the revealation word of God. Do you feel that the word of God doesn’t encourage you as much as it used to, or even sitting in the presence of the Lord doesn’t bring any peace and joy to you. Know that the spiritual forces of evil are not after your time or joy but after your salvation. Guard it well.

Rev. 12:11 talks about overcoming enemy by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony.