How would you describe Satan? How would describe His game plan? God reveals to us the true nature of Satan. Satan is the tempter. He is the deceiver. Satan is devious. He is crafty. He is a liar. Satan is described in scripture as “the god of this world.” Satan is on a mission to destroy your walk with God. Satan is good at what he does. Don’t underestimate Satan. You will be tempted. Jesus faced temptation. The apostles faced temptation. Preachers face temptation. Elders are not immune from temptation. You will face temptation.
An examination of Jesus’s temptation in Luke 4 reveals some important lessons to us about our enemy. Let’s take a trip with Jesus to the Judean wilderness and get better acquainted with the tactics of our enemy.
In Luke 4 we learn the areas in which we will be tempted. Jesus faced three temptations in the wilderness. The lust of the flesh…Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. The lust of the eyes…Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would just pledge His allegiance to Satan. The pride of life…Satan tempted Jesus with an opportunity to gain approval from the people of the day by jumping off the temple and being rescued by angels. Every temptation you will face falls into one of these three categories. Paul assures us in 1 Corinthians 10 “that no temptation has overtaken you but such as common to man.” You know the areas where you will be tempted. What are the two biggest temptations you are currently facing? What is the biggest temptation you are facing in your life? You will be tempted by the lust of the flesh. You will face physical temptation. It might come in the form of alcohol or drugs. Perhaps it will be a sexual temptation. You will be also be tempted by the lust of the eyes. Have you ever been tempted with pornography? This is a huge temptation many face today. You will be tempted by the pride of life. There are a myriad of temptations that fall into this category. One of the biggest temptations in this area is the desire to fit in with the crowd. Too often people would rather be popular with their friends than popular with God.
Satan is a master strategist. He knows the most opportune times when he has the greatest advantage. He will attack when we’re on a business trip away from our spouse. He will attack late at night when we are sitting at the computer all alone. He will attack at the conclusion of a long day. Satan knows when to attack and when to retreat. He knows when to speak and when to remain silent. He knows when to advance and when to withdraw. Satan tempted Jesus at an opportune time. He will do the same to us. Be prepared for the attack. Satan can be defeated. James ensures us that if we “resist the devil, he will flee from us.”
The story of Luke 4 can be described in the following way. Jesus faced temptation. He resisted. Jesus faced temptation. He resisted. Jesus faced temptation. He resisted. Today you will face temptation. Will you give in or resist?