Resisting Satan's Attacks
Jesus Defeated Satan
Mark 1:12-13 "Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him."
Lessons from Christ's Temptation
Christ's temptation was real; it was real physically, it was real emotionally, and it was real spiritually. Jesus felt every pain, every attack, and every pressure.
But, as Christ's temptation shows us—Satan can only persuade, he can't push. The Devil tempts, but it is we who transgress. The Devil doesn't make us do it, we do it ourselves. Jesus shows us we are responsible for our sins because of the sin we have within. Jesus didn't sin although He was completely tempted, because He has no sin within. But, a tempted Christ always understands His tempted people.
The essence of Christ's temptation was to act independent of God. It is okay to be hungry and want food, tired and want rest, weary and want an end to the attacks—but it is wrong to get anything apart from God's way, God's timing, and God's blessing!
Jesus met Satan as a man. This is highlighted by Satan's first attack when he said, "If you are the Son of God…" to which Jesus responds very clearly, "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God…" (Matthew 4:3-4). Jesus met Satan in the power of a weakened man, not in the awesome, blinding Omnipotence of Almighty God.
Three Areas Satan Targets
The three temptations were directly targeting the three weaknesses all humans have as John expresses in 1 John 2:16:
"For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world."
From John's classification we know from the Lord that temptations always come in three varieties of packages, in spite of varied shapes, sizes, and colors...they fall into one of three categories:
- Sensual Temptation. This is lust of the flesh for another person. The desire to have and enjoy the body of an individual, even though such pleasure is illegal and/or immoral.
§ Material Temptation. This is lust of the eyes for things. The things may be as large as a house or as small as a ring, as bright and dazzling as a new sports car or as dull and dusty as a two-hundred-year-old antique dresser.
§ Personal Temptation. This is lust for status called "the pride of life". Special recognition. The status of fame, fortune, power, or authority. Having a title that makes heads turn, like "top executive" or "president" or "executive director" or even "doctor".
When Jesus met the Devil in the wilderness His only resource was God's Word—and that is the weapon Satan fears. After the 40 days, as Christ was at His weakest state physically, Satan moves in to confront Him. In three swift tests we could call—instant food, instant fame, and instant fortune.
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