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Read Matthew 4:1-11
– Jesus is in the literal wilderness, lead there by the Holy Spirit. (I don’t even like “car camping”!)
– He has fasted for 40 days and nights, and he became “very hungry”. (That’s an understatement!)
– Jesus is tired and hungry, and his flesh is at its weakest. And that’s when satan comes after him.
– The temptations that the devil sets before Jesus are not random. They are a strategic attack on Jesus at his weakest points. They are an attempt to crack the very foundation of his future ministry.
– If the devil can when this battle, he won’t have to fight the war. It would be over before it even starts if he can plant a seed of doubt.
– Example: Hand to hand combat in USMC. “Take away their will to fight”. That’s what satan wants to do to Jesus.
- The devil wants Jesus to question his provision.
(Read Matthew 4:3-4 again)
– Satan sows seeds of doubt:
– “If you really were God’s son, you could make food out of rocks. I guess you aren’t then.”
– “Why would the son of God have to starve? How does not eating prove anything?!”
– These are the same tactics since Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:1, “Did God really say…?”
– The devil does this to us still today. Example: The Daniel Fast.
– By Day 2, the devil will be speaking to you: “Why are you doing this? How does starving yourself prove anything to God? Doesn’t God have work for you to do, so why are you wasting your time just making yourself miserable?”
AND, The bible says, Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” If you would start working, God would let you eat!
AND, You failed! Start again Monday. Failed again? It’s fine to quit. Try again next year.
– The devil is questioning Jesus’s identity and actions. The devil is relentless!! Stay focused!
– Jesus resist the devil with scripture. “People don’t just live on bread. They are sustained by God’s word.”
– Jesus is saying that spiritual food is even more important than physical food. It satisfies your soul and makes it strong.
– Just like you on the Daniel fast: Don’t sacrifice the spiritual food God is giving to you through sacrifice and prayer, just because you are “very hungry”.
- The devil wants Jesus to question his protection.
(read Matthew 4:5-7 again)
– The devil is saying, “If you are the son of God, protect yourself from your future hardship. Choose the comfortable route.”
– The devil uses actual scripture to convince Jesus to doubt the plan God has for him. He uses the Word, but out of context, to try to get Jesus to doubt his Father.
– Jesus resists the devil with scripture, showing that his faith does not require testing God.
– Jesus uses his faith like a shield to defend himself from the attack of the enemy.
– Example: Rogue One, force field that covers the moon w/ one weakness is the gate, they smash the gate and steal the plans that lead to ultimate destruction.
– If you drop your “faith shield” by believing the lie, the devil will fly through the weak spot in YOUR shield and steal the plans inside you.
– When you begin to doubt and question God about why you are going through a trial or temptation, you leave an opening in your faith shield, allowing satan to steal god’s plans out of your heart.
– Jesus doesn’t need proof, he has faith!
- The devil wants Jesus to question his position.
(read Matthew 4:8-10 again)
– Jesus is supposed to be the king. He has the power to make all things come under his authority.
– Satan questions this, “God apparently can’t or won’t do this for you Jesus, but I will! Worship me and have it all. Worship God and be rejected, suffer, and be crucified.”
– Tough choice for the humanity inside us to make. This is a decision that we all must rely on the Holy Spirit inside us to make.
– We can’t resist the devil for long with our own will power, but we will be victorious though the power of God’s will.
– Think about it. It is the same lies that the devil tells us. He tells us that we can have the world if we will worship him now.
– Few people would actually choose the idea of worshiping satan himself. But he sets up idols for us to worship that represent him. Money, power, security, praise of men…
– All the things in the world that we place higher than our reliance on God. (LIKE: A pay raise that brings us riches, but takes away our ability to lead our family, or serve God, or spend any time doing something other than working to maintain our riches.)
– Example: Christian music artist, many are far superior to the junk that sells millions, but they have to work a second job to put food on the table. Literally given the choice, deny Jesus and serve money and fame, and the devil will give them the world!
*The Father has already affirmed His son! Jesus knows who he is, and where he stands.
– Matthew 3:16-17, After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
– Jesus knows who he is, and what his Father has promised him!
– Jesus finally commands the devil to leave, and the devil leaves.
- Choose active resistance!
(read Matthew 4:11 again)
– Luke 4:13 says, When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came. (Satan is relentless!)
– Running from temptation will work for a while, but the devil will track you down.
– Example: Nature show, wolf chasing a small sheep, sheep is faster, but wolf is relentless!
– Hiding from temptation will work for a while, but satan will never stop looking.
– Example: TV show, “I almost got away with it”. 10 years later got captured in Mexico.
– YOU MUST RESIST!
– James 4:7, So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
– This is exactly what Jesus did!! Jesus did it, YOU can do it, by the same Holy Spirit.
– Example: I always hid and ran. I would try to stay busy and distract myself, but sin was always waiting around the corner for me. I was wearing out. I was listening to Battlefield of the Mind, and Joyce Meyers said basically “resisting is active”. Speak it out. I had never done that before.
– I had heard James 4:7 before and heard preachers talk about it, and I thought that was what I was doing. Then one day sin came so close that it actually scared me! I think I actually said out loud, “NO! NO! NO WAY!” then I remembered to speak it. I said, “I will NEVER, Satan! Flee from me now!” And he did. I have not been tempted in that way since then.
– 1 Cor. 10:13, The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
– This scripture is so encouraging!! God won’t let it crush me! There will be a way out!
– Every time I’ve succumbed to temptation, there was a way out that I chose not to take!
– Active resistance!! Not just hiding or running.
– Fighting back with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit.
– This is how Jesus resist temptation. He knew the Word, and his identity was rooted in the Father.
– The devil was attacking “who he is”, and “what the word says”. If you know who you are in Christ, and what the word of God really says, you will also be able to resist the devil like Jesus did.
– Psalms 119:9-11, How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. 10 I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
– Christian believer: You are a child of the King, heir to the Kingdom. Don’t settle for less than that!
– 1 John 3:1, See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.
– Because Jesus was tempted and tried, he can also sympathize with us when we are tempted.
– But he also shows us the way to overcome that temptation and to be victorious, and not sin.
– God will allow temptation but always provide a way out! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR SIN.
* The temptations that the devil sets before US are not random. They are a strategic attack on us at our weakest point.
– They are an attempt to crack the very foundation of our future ministry.
– NOT ALL SIN IS CREATED EQUAL! Sexual sin, blaspheming the Holy Spirit… are worse.
– Some sin is like a mortar shell into a café. They destroy everyone around you too.
– If the devil can win this battle in your life, he won’t have to fight the war. It will be over before it even starts, if he can plant a seed of doubt, get you to question God, lead you to sin.
– Jesus did not rely on his own strength to meet his own needs. He relied on the word of God, and the Holy Spirit.
**If you do fall, come to the altar with repentance and humility. Jesus can forgive and restore you.
– Know your Word, and know your identity. – Resist the devil and he will flee!