THE DEVIL'S BAG OF TRICKS
"And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan."
When I was a kid, there was an old cartoon that I watched called Felix the Cat. The show was very popular, ranking among the top fifty cartoons ever produced. The catchy theme song basically told the story, "Whenever he gets in a fix, he reaches into his bag of tricks." Felix's bag of tricks made for interesting kiddie television.
Did you know that the devil, too, has a bag of tricks? He uses these tricks to try to get us to sin against God. He is so confident in his bag of tricks that he even used them on Jesus to try to tempt Him into sin.
WHAT IS IN HIS BAG?
As the tempter, the devil uses that which is in the world to try to trick us and defeat us. 1 John 2:16 tells us, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." Those three things are the three tricks in his bag.
1. The lust of the flesh -- The lust of the flesh hits us at our fleshly desires for food, sex, sleep, pleasure, and revenge. The devil uses it to try and lure us into sin. He came at Jesus when He was hungry and said, "If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread." It was a temptation aimed at the desires of flesh.
2. The lust of the eyes -- The lust of the eyes is the desire for things, a sin of greed and covetousness. Like a fisherman with a shiny lure, the devil uses the lust of the eyes to get us to bite the hidden hook. In his second temptation, he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. "I will give them to you if you just bow down and worship me," he hissed. It was a temptation directed through the eye to the heart.
3. The boastful pride of life -- The boastful pride of life is the desire to be noticed and applauded. It is the desire for fifteen minutes of fame. The devil used this against Jesus in his last temptation as he baited him to jump down from the pinnacle of the temple. Satan said in as many words, "Show us what you can do, Jesus. After all, it is written that 'He will give His angels charge concerning you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" This temptation hits at the heart, where pride so often dwells.
All of us can relate to the devil's temptations. The way to victory is to follow the Lord's example. Jesus overcame every temptation by quoting the Word of God. When the devil came at Jesus with a new trick, Jesus came back with the written Word. The lesson is clear: the way to defeat the enemy is to run him through with the sharp sword of the Word of God. It is the Word that is "living and powerful."
Remember, each one of us deals with temptation on a regular basis. If the devil tempted Jesus, he will tempt you, too. It is not a sin to be tempted; it is a sin to yield to temptation. And although yielding gives temporary pleasure, it creates lasting pain. The devil is not your friend. His bag of tricks is designed to steal, kill, and destroy. Wise is the person who relies on the Lord and His Word to just say no!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
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