How Satan Tempts You

How Satan Tempts You

How Satan tempts you is demonstrated in how he tempted Jesus in Luke 4:1-13. Knowing his strategy won’t make you immune to his tactics. But will better equip you in an effort to resist.

How Satan tempts you is to attack where you’re most vulnerable

Satan doesn’t fight fair. He knew Jesus had just fasted for 40 days and hunger his greatest vulnerability. So it was Satan’s immediate point of attack. And he does the same to us. He doesn’t tempt you when you’re physically and spiritually healthy. But when you’re sick, exhausted, under heavy stress, grieving a loss, and struggling emotionally and spiritually.

Notice Jesus didn’t respond with a clever reply. Or attempt to match wits with Satan. He responded by quoting scripture.

Does that sound like an easy out? Like Jesus was intimidated and afraid to take Satan on? Not at all! Jesus quoted scripture because God’s word is absolute truth and speaks for itself. Satan’s best reasoning…his strongest argument would not stand against it. That’s why we should both study and memorize the Bible.

And wield its truth as a sword against our enemy. Because God’s word is living and active. It penetrates to the heart and soul. And doesn’t return to God void.

How Satan tempts you is by appealing to your desire for power

There’s an insatiable desire for power in all of us. Maybe that’s why we like super heroes so much. It’s more about the super power than the hero. And Satan understands this desire better than anyone. Because it was his desire to be like God.

But Satan can be very subtle too. By encouraging you to find the power within yourself. To improve. Become your own best version. More happy. Successful. Beautiful. As he leads you slowly, intentionally, and carefully away from God. Away from the greatest power of all…His love.

You can imagine the force of that temptation on Jesus. After all, as God incarnate, he already possessed almighty power. Why not use it?

And the answer is because he came to destroy the power of sin. So he had to sacrifice his life. Which required humility and submission to God’s will. It was not an easy choice for him to make. But he did so in order to set us free from another power. The power of sin.

How Satan tempts you is to manipulate your source of authority

Now Satan shifts his strategy. He refers to the Bible, which is Jesus’ source of authority, and tries to use it against him. It’s interesting to note that Satan knew the scripture. And quoted it easily. But he didn’t accept it for himself. which highlights another reality. You can know the Bible and God intellectually without believing or following either one personally.

Of course, Satan didn’t fight fair this time either. And he took scripture verses out of context and manipulated them to support his argument.

And Jesus didn’t respond with an apologetic argument. But simply by quoting another verse. And it wasn’t just the authority of scripture this time. It was the fact that the scripture reminded Satan of who he was talking to. The absolute authority. God himself.

Although Satan lost his temptation against Jesus, he still actively tempts us today. Not just by manipulating scripture. But every source of authority conceivable. And he twists and perverts them into multiple forms to lead you away from Jesus Christ. Through books, newspapers, social media, videos, TV, radio and more. And it’s not just Satan working alone. But his army of messengers.

In order to fight him off you must cling to God’s word and abide among His people.

How Satan tempts you is to return at a more opportune time

This is probably the most sobering part of Satan’s temptation of Jesus. The determined persistence of Satan. Scripture is clear about Satan’s future. But he is going down fighting. So we should never drop our guard. Because there will be times we resist Satan’s temptations through the power of God. But Satan will return when you’re most vulnerable. Because he wants to take you with him.

And just like God wants you to join him in heaven, and offers you the path by following Jesus Christ, Satan wants you to join him in hell. And he makes the path look even more enticing and pleasurable than following Jesus. Until it isn’t. But then, it’s too late.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Finding Your God Center

Finding Your God Center

Finding your God center is an ongoing journey for Christ-followers. Because we live in a world of opposites. Right and left. Hot and cold. Big and little. And the best location is somewhere in the middle. Here are three principles from Ephesians 5:15-21 to help you find your God center.

Finding your God center involves watching your walk

V.15  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,,,

The word “walk” in v.15 is used figuratively and means your personal conduct and behavior. And notice that Paul takes a positive, proactive approach. He doesn’t rag on you about all the bad things to avoid. Or prescribe a specific “to do” list of good things either. But he provides three general principles to follow.

  • Take charge of your conduct
  • Control your use of time
  • Consider God’s will

Of course, our conduct is not completely controllable because we are still sinful. And often speak and act without thinking. But you can be mindful of it. And that begins with your identity as a child of God. Along with an awareness his Spirit is always present for support. You’re also to be mindful of his will as revealed through scripture. Like demonstrating love for others and treating people how you want to be treated. Along with other instructions throughout the Bible that present God’s will.

Watching your walk is both challenging and rewarding. Prayer, Bible Study, Worship and walking with other Christ-followers helps a lot.

Finding Your God Center involves navigating between legalism and license

V.18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit

The two opposites for Christ-followers are legalism and license. Walking on the extreme side of either one is like hugging a porcupine. It gets prickly.

The Ten Commandments represent God’s law and are fairly straight forward. And the inspired writers of the New Testament added other teachings we accept as straight from God. But sometimes, we add our own extra rules not spelled out in scripture. And then make our rules as important as God’s law.

This sometimes, leads to pride because we do such a good job keeping them all. Which, by the way is a sin, so maybe we didn’t do as well as we think. But other times, keeping those rules becomes a heavy burden. And God doesn’t want that for us either. Because He gives us grace. And Jesus wants us to experience the truth that sets us free.

On the other hand, grace is often used as an excuse for license.

Because Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-9 we are saved by grace and not works. Our relationship with Jesus Christ frees us from the law because of grace. And if you push grace to the extreme, you can reason that because God forgives your sin, you can simply sin and ask his forgiveness. Although Paul reminds us that grace is not freedom to sin.

And he warns about a lifestyle of debauchery which is unrestrained indulgence of lust and sensuality. And just like legalism, can become a form of bondage. In the middle of legalism and license is a lifestyle that pursues holiness and righteousness. Not because you have to, but want to please God.

And again. Prayer, Bible study, worship and walking with other Christ-followers helps a lot.

Finding Your God Center involves getting over yourself

V. 21 Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Entitlement is the word for our culture. Submission the word of God. And it’s not easy. Because of course, you have rights. So did Jesus. But he gave them up for you and me. And says if you will be his disciple you must take up your cross and follow him.

The Greek word for “submission” is hupŏtassō and means to be obedient, subject yourself to and put yourself under. It doesn’t mean demeaning or disrespecting yourself. But choosing an attitude of humility. Nor is Paul talking about political, civil rights. But how to interact with others in your personal relationships.

As Jesus demonstrated to his disciples at the last supper, following him involves a heart willing to serve.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

How Elijah The Prophet Overcame Depression

How Elijah The Prophet Overcame Depression

How Elijah the prophet overcame depression is found in 1 Kings 19. Although clinical depression is a complex issue that may require professional therapy, there is still practical wisdom in God’s word. And this story teaches three things to consider when dealing with depression.

But first, let’s back up to Chapter 18. In this scene, Elijah, the prophet of God, competed in a sacrifice competition against the prophets of Baal. And he won in a spectacular display of God’s power. But immediately afterwards, Queen Jezebel threatens to kill Elijah, and he runs away into the wilderness where he falls from an emotional high into a deep emotional low. And here’s how he climbs out.

How Elijah the prophet overcame depression. It started by attending to his physical well-being

Depression is a deep emotional pit, often characterized by isolation. Where you wallow in an unhealthy, emotional sewer of toxic thoughts and self-abasement. And that represents Elijah’s story. He runs in fear for his life, ends up in alone in the wilderness, and crashes under a tree. And his first act of recovery? He takes a nap.

Of course, he was exhausted. His running away and encounter with the prophets of Baal were both physically and emotionally draining. And rather than receiving recognition and appreciation for his Godly service, he received a death threat. Talk about a downer.

Sleep in this case served two purposes. First, it was a form of escape. A mental and emotional reprieve from his stress and anxiety. And second, it was God’s natural form of restoration and healing for his mind and body. Nor did God admonish him for it. Wake him up and tell him to get busy. He let him sleep.

But work and busyness is the American way, right? Suck it up. Push through. Mind over matter. When the truth is, sometimes, sleep is the best remedy. And when Elijah woke up, God fed him. So the lesson is don’t let depression disrupt your physical well-being. A little exercise might be a good idea too.

How Elijah the prophet overcame depression. It included a community of other faithful followers

Depression also commonly includes self-pity. In Elijah’s case he felt like a martyr. And in 19:10, he laments that he’s the sole survivor working for God’s cause. A slight exaggeration that God corrects in V.18. Because there are seven thousand others who are still faithful to the cause.

In reality, depression magnifies your worst suspicions. Because things are not as bleak as you imagine. For today, that community of support still exists as the church. It’s full of people that understand. Who’ve experienced the same doubts as you. The same pain. And will walk with you on your journey.

As the body of Christ. In the name of Jesus. And through the power of God’s Spirit. If you’re not part of a church community, find one and plug in.

How Elijah the prophet overcame depression. It included focusing on the spiritual well-being of others.

As long as your attention and pity is self-focused, you will make little progress. Yes, God had compassion for Elijah. And cared for his needs. But didn’t coddle him forever. Let him wallow indefinitely like a pig in the muck. Or idle on in self-analysis paralysis. God demanded that Elijah re-engage.

First, God sent Elijah on a trip. Gave him a change of scenery. A job to do. And got him moving. From sedentary to active. Because sometimes, conquering inertia is the hardest part.

And then God directed Elijah’s vision to look beyond himself to the needs of someone else. Someone that he could now support as a mentor in their journey. In other words, God gave him a mission. And it was to train Elisha, his ministry replacement.

Because God wants to make you whole. And then use you to help make someone else whole too.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

How Should I Respond To Angry People?

How Should I Respond To Angry People?

How should I respond to angry people? And not just a little angry. But a lot. Like boiling mad to irrational rage? Especially as a Christ-follower. I was confronted with this question in a recent experience that took me by surprise. And here are my thoughts about it.

I was the last car in a line turning left at a traffic light. We all turned on the green arrow although it changed to yellow as I went through. I was in no hurry as I headed towards another light a block away to make another left into a small strip mall.

A short distance from the light I heard the roar of an engine and squeal of tires. In my rearview mirror I saw the incensed, contorted face of a driver tailgating me. He had been waiting to make a right turn on the opposite side of the light and I now gathered, was morally offended by my left hand turn.

So he broke the speed limit to catch up, nearly rear ended me in his haste and now drove recklessly, inches away from rear bumper to teach me a driving lesson. And when I stopped at the red light, he halted inches away from my rear bumper to drive home the point.

I responded in a perfectly calm and reasonable manner by throwing my car in park, jumping out and marching to the driver side window, throwing my hands in the air, and shouting, “What are you doing?”

It was completely reactive and impulsive on my part.

And if a brawny lad got out, it might be a problem. Although in my experience, brawny lads are seldom raging bullies, because they have nothing to prove. And true to form, this aggressive bully switched to victim mode and began video taping me on his phone.

So in case you see me on a social media post, please note my egregious act was making a legal left hand turn at a traffic light. But apparently, this driver on the opposite side of the light knew better.

Since he remained safely in his car, I returned to mine and turned into the strip mall as he now, bravely, continued to tailgate me, steering with one hand and video taping with the other. But drove on when I pulled into a parking space.

And here are some thoughts as I’ve had time to reflect and consider a more Godly response to angry people.

How should I respond to angry people? Maybe by offering compassion

People are on an emotional edge. Overwhelmed by stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. Bottled up inside. And hidden so you don’t know who they are, what pressures are internally seething, or when a trivial incident will cause an eruption. Something troubling was already going on in the life of the driver I encountered. I simply triggered the explosion.

But I follow a compassionate God. Who instructs me to share the compassion I’ve received from him with others. It doesn’t mean I’m milk toast. Lay down and let people steam roll me. But to measure my response. And not view them as enemies. But people who are likely struggling. And probably need a friend. I don’t know what’s going on in their life. So maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt.

How should I respond to angry people? Maybe by demonstrating joy

Joy doesn’t mean wearing a dopey grin on my face all day. Telling an angry person I’ll pray for them or have a blessed day. That seems patronizing. But it does include silently asking God for his strength and self-control in the heat of a moment. And the goal to act, rather than react to the other person. Or not respond at all, but merely drive on.

It’s not that I don’t have struggles and bad days. I have both. But joy is a fruit of God’s Spirit. Something I possess in spite of difficult circumstances. And difficult people.

It’s the result of living with hope. Because I know God is faithful to his promise. And as a child of that promise, I see an eternal future which radically changes how I see the present. And a sense of meaning that extends way beyond navigating the turn at a traffic light.

So I can choose joy. To act rather than react. And let God’s strength be revealed in my weakness.

How should I respond to angry people? Maybe by extending grace

Grace is an undeserved pardon. That’s me as a sinner before a holy God. I don’t deserve his love or forgiveness. But he extends it anyway through his grace. And as an unworthy recipient, I’m charged by scripture to extend it to others.

I forget this sometimes. Probably because I so quickly return anger for anger and seek to defend myself. Grace requires a supernatural response. Similar to compassion but so much more. Because compassion leads to understanding and acceptance. But grace leads to eternal life. Because grace is granted by God to all who believe in and follow Jesus Christ.

And that’s another message I can share. But no one will hear it if I’m shouting in anger.

It wasn’t my absolute worst response to an angry person. But through the power of God, I can do better.

Let’s hear your angry story along with thoughts on Godly responses.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

God’s Word Guides, Frees, and Redeems

God’s Word Guides, Frees, and Redeems

God’s Word Guides, Frees, and Redeems you according to Psalm 119:129-136. It guides you with light and understanding, frees you from the bondage of sin, and redeems you from man’s oppression.

Because the Bible is not a collection of rules that take the fun out of life. But it molds you into the person God created you to be.

God’s word guides, frees, and redeems you by providing light and understanding

V.130 The unfolding of your word gives light and imparts understanding…

We live in a complicated world. Confused by competing messages. Fooled by deception. Captured through seduction.

What can you believe? Who can you trust? How can you know when something is true?

The Bible claims to be God’s words. According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it’s God breathed. Which means He supernaturally spoke through its writers. Therefore, it is absolute truth. Accurate. Consistent. Reliable.

In a world blanketed by the darkness of sin, God’s word illuminates with a discerning brightness. And His Spirit guides your understanding. So when you read, study, and know His word, you recognize what’s false by holding it up to His truth.

God’s word guides, frees, and redeems you by releasing you from the bondage of sin

V.133 Keep steady my steps and let no iniquity get dominion over me

Sin is subtle. Stealthy. And quietly creeps up on you. We seldom plunge into it headlong, but slowly and imperceptibly. One slight detour from God’s path followed by another. A slow fade of small decisions in a parade moving steadily away from God. The gradual slide into a sink hole until we are firmly stuck in a mire.

And it starts off as fun and pleasure. Harmless and victimless. Until its seductive lure becomes a compulsory grip you can’t escape. God’s words guide you towards right behavior. His precepts towards healthy relationships driven by character and integrity.

And while many claim God’s word burdens you with legalistic demands, Jesus claimed the opposite. His truth sets you free. And his power releases you from the bondage of sin.

God’s word guides, frees, and redeems you by redeeming you from oppression

V.134 Redeem me from man’s oppression that I may keep your precepts

The desire for acceptance. Social expectations. Cancel culture. They are powerful forces that exert themselves in society. And the loudest, most insistent voices demand compliance. Even when you think or believe differently. And especially when you disagree.

So what do you do?

You can reverse your position and go with the flow. Disagree, but remain silent. Or stand firm and risk rejection.

And while I don’t have a specific answer on how to respond to the culture, scripture does reveal how to overcome oppression. Galatians 4:3-7 and Luke 4:18 are two passages among many others that provide an answer. The power of Christ and the power of God’s word offer freedom to those willing to listen and respond.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.