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.
Satan’s temptation of Jesus demonstrates a spiritual reality. Satan actively tempts all humanity. But can the devil make you do it? Here are some things to know about Satan, his temptation strategy and how you can respond.
Satan’s Temptation Of Jesus Reveals Satan Is Not Your Friend
The Greek word for Satan means adversary. A fitting description of Satan’s relationship with humanity. He wants to drag you down. To destroy you and your relationship with God.
That’s what happened to Adam and Eve. Satan tempted them to eat the one fruit in the Garden that was off limits. They did and the act of disobedience severed their relationship with God.
Satan won that round. And had us all right where he wanted. Eternally doomed. But God sent his Son, Jesus to die as a perfect sacrifice. To atone for sin.
Which is why Satan tempted Jesus. Because if Jesus sinned, he wouldn’t qualify as a perfect sacrifice. However, Jesus won that round. And successfully completed his mission. Therefore, we can restore our relation with God through Jesus Christ.
Think Satan’s going to let that happen without a fight? Not on your life! Which is exactly what’s at stake.
Satan’s Temptation Of Jesus Reveals Satan Attacks Your Greatest Weakness
Satan tempted Jesus right after his month long, spiritual retreat in the wilderness.
He was physically and spiritually exhausted. Hadn’t eaten in 40 days. And Satan goes straight for where Jesus is most vulnerable. His hunger.
“Hey, Jesus. You’re God. Turn those rocks into loaves of bread and dig in. For you, should be a piece of cake.”
The point is, Satan doesn’t fight fair. He aims for your weakest moment. Most feeble condition. Greatest vulnerability.
Struggle with temper control? He’ll assure you it’s righteous anger. Success oriented? He’ll pat you on the back for your strong work ethic and drive you to work long hours for the sake of your family…so you’re never actually there for your family.
He gives you reasons to justify, rationalize, excuse. And of course, blame someone else. Because it’s never your fault.
He’s sneaky. Subtle. Deceptive. With a winsome charm that leads you from the goodness of God, straight through the gates of hell. As you dance along the way and thank him for it.
Satan’s Temptation Of Jesus Reveals That Scripture Is Your Best Defense
I once heard a preacher say Satan has an IQ of around 20,000. Pure speculation, of course. But he made a good point. Satan is super smart. And very powerful. Although not all powerful. Or all knowing. And can’t be everywhere at once.
But even Jesus didn’t try to outwit Satan on his own. Rather, he quoted scripture his entire defense.
A strategy we should also follow. Why? Because God’s word does not return empty. But keep in mind, Satan knows scripture too. And cleverly twists it to support his point.
So study the Bible diligently. And commit it memory. Because the best way to recognize a lie is to know the truth.
Scripture Reveals That Satan Ultimately Loses
Satan’s fate is already determined. But until then, he roams the earth freely. Sewing seeds of dissension. Causing chaos. Wrecking havoc. And currently doing a great job of it. As humanity turns on itself…oblivious to the real enemy.
But Satan can’t actually make us do anything. We must willingly give in to temptation. And when we do, become partners in furthering his cause. For which, we also, will one day give account.
However, the good news is the victory Jesus achieved, still stands. And it can be our victory.
It’s where those who follow Jesus find hope. And demonstrate a life of faith, knowing better days are ahead.
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