Jesus was born. His first two recorded sentences assured us He would be about His Father’s work. He was baptized and immediately driven into the wilderness for a time of testing.
Sound familiar? The same thing happens to every new believer.
We are born again. We make assurances to all who hear that we are going to be about our Father’s work. We are baptized. Soon after, we find ourselves in a wilderness for test time.
Because none of us are exempt from the test, we had better take notes from the Teacher. It is a pass-fail test. Failure is painful.
A quick overview will tell us a few facts we need to engrain in our hearts and minds.
- Satan always comes to steal.
At His baptism, the Holy Spirit had descended upon Jesus with the anointing for His ministry. At that same moment, His Father spoke, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
Everyone present saw and heard: the Trinity, John the Baptist and those by the water’s edge. Even Satan. The battle was on to destroy the Word.
- Satan does not play fair.
Jesus had fasted for forty days. He was weakened in body. Satan will do the same for you and me. He will wait until we are alone, weak, or vulnerable before he attacks.
- Temptation is not a sin.
Jesus’ temptation was a test not so much to see if He would fail (He could not!) but a “test” (much like the test drive of a new automobile) to demonstrate just how powerful the Son of God was, even in the face of the devil himself. (HNTC)
- Jesus was tempted in every way common to man.
Satan is not very creative. He found a sequence of lies that worked in the Garden of Eden. He has been successful with it throughout history. Of course, until He tried it with Jesus.
- We have the cheat-sheet answers.
The Word of God is the only power to defeat Satan and pass the test every time. Jesus is the Logos, the Truth. He knew Truth so intimately that Truth was His only weapon.
Satan loves to try to confuse us by twisting the Word creating doubt in our hearts. The only way to ensure passing every test is knowing the Word so intimately, that we recognize the counterfeit instantly.
Have you ever been falsely accused of a crime? When we are falsely accused or blatantly lied to, we know it.
Try this example.
You work overtime for a week to earn the money needed to pay off your car. Your boss refuses to pay you the extra income saying, “Technically, it wasn’t overtime. The contract reads that the manager determines the validity of overtime. Hours are not proof since the amount of work completed within any given hour is speculative.”
Without hesitation you pull out your contract. You read where it states the 40 required hours each week and guarantees overtime for any additional hours. You then show him your time card proving 65 hours clocked. As an added bonus to your defense, you show him the additional tasks you completed in those extra 25 hours and you even show him the calluses on your hands.
You boldly and firmly stood your ground. The facts spoke. You won.
You knew the details of the contract. You had the factual evidence. It could be said that even your body proved your claims.
Like Jesus taught, you were the truth. That’s why you could so easily recognize the lies.
What would it take in our lives to become so intimate with the Truth that we could instantly recognize the accuser?
A closer look at each of the above bullet points will help us be better prepared for the next test. We will do the first one today.
Satan always comes to steal.
Read the parable of sower in Luke 8:4-15.
How does Satan operate? (Use some of the verbs given. Example: trampled)
What does he attack? (verse 11)
Name the temptations he used. (verses 12-14)
Describe the soil that falls to temptation. (verses 12-14)
Verse 15 describes the believer we all want to be. Write this verse in your own words as a prayer of commitment. Pray it daily until your prayer becomes your reality.