Matthew 4:1; 5-7
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil… Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Spiritual warfare is not a made-up myth. Matthew 4:1-11 describes the most intense attack Hell has ever made on an individual. There in the wilderness, isolated and alone, Jesus is confronted by Satan. Satan is not particular about where or when he attacks the child of God. Alone or in a crowd, well or sick, poor or prosperous, young or old… it makes no difference to the devil. Beware of the tempter. Every single temptation Satan tempted Jesus with, is common to every child of God. No Christian is immune to temptation.
In this the second temptation, Satan offered Jesus the approval, applause, and admiration of man. In essence, Satan said, Throw yourself off the top of the temple. You will not be hurt, and people will be so in awe of you, they will recognize you to be the Son of God. Satan will try to make you and I believe that what he is trying to get us to do is without consequence. God, the Father had a plan for showing the world that Jesus was indeed His Son. God always has a plan... Satan always has an alternate plan.
All through life, there are situations which require us to choose God’s plan or man’s plan. God’s plan requires faith, trust, obedience, and self-denial. Following God’s plan requires waiting on God’s time. Satan offers shortcuts and immediate rewards with no waiting: “Buy now...pay later”. Short-term benefits with no regard to long-term consequences. Man’s approval and applause is short-lived and changes with the wind. Proverbs 29:25 says that “the fear of man is a snare”. The approval of people is a trap. If we have to compromise what we know God’s Word says in order to please people… it is more than a “slippery slope”… it’s a deadly snare.
It is not without significance that with this the second temptation, is the same challenge the devil used against Jesus in His last temptation. For there, hanging on Calvary’s cross, it was said, if you are the King of the Jews… save yourself! This was Satan’s “last ditch effort” to ensnare the Savior. Jesus was broken, bruised and bleeding… yet, He, in the power of the Spirit, resisted Satan’s final attack. That same Spirit of strength resides in you and I. It’s still true: Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Perhaps you are in the middle of an intense battle right now. You may be in the midst of a critical crisis and Satan has tempted you to step out of God’s prescribed plan. Right now, the Spirit of God is moving and stirring your heart with strength to stand. May a fresh anointing of fire and faith rise in your spirit giving you strength to press on…….in victory!
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me; you will stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies and thy right hand shall save me.”