Tuesday, April 23, 2019 -
Every temptation of Satan is an attempt of the devil to try to get us to think we can do things of our own strength, without God’s help. In fact, Satan wants us never even to give God an opportunity to come to our defense, as God promises He will. The devil tends to attack us humans at our weakest point, as when he chose just the most opportune time to tempt Jesus, immediately following a forty-day fast. The devil tempted Jesus at that time, Him being fully human in every way, and very hungry, with food. And Satan also was very cunning by appealing for Jesus to utilize His divine nature to satisfy His human nature, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (Matthew 4:3), he told Jesus.
In this same manner, the devil knows our strengths and weaknesses, and he deceptively plays them against us so that we attempt to counter his subtle temptations with our own power apart from God. But this in fact, always sets us up for failure. For only if in fact we recognized our weakness against Satan, no matter how strong we may feel we are, and the fact we are helpless in our own power and put the matter completely in the hands of our Heavenly Father to rescue us, we will be successful in warding off Satan’s attacks. What did the Apostle Paul say when he was confronted with Satan’s attacks? He said Satan’s buffets were to keep me from “exalting myself. Concerning this, I entreated the Lord three times that it may depart from me. And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power’s perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (1 Corinthians 12:7-9)
I have learned this in my own life that only will I see victory when I come to the point where I realize I am in and of myself, totally helpless, and that only God can provide the victory. And He always does!
Jesus also provides us with another good strategy, He confronted Satan with scripture! And then He told Satan to flee!
Satan will appeal to our needs and weaknesses, as he did with Jesus. But even Jesus said He was fully dependent on the Father. In John 5:30 He says, “I can do nothing on my own initiative.” In John 6:57 He says, “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father.” In John 8:42 He says “For I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.” In John 14:10 He says, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”
And in John 17:7, He claims; “Now they have come to know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee.”
So we too must recognize that our strength to counter Satan only comes from the Holy Spirit who lives within us. Only when we recognize we are completely dependent on Him will we live a victorious Christian life!