Summary: The temptations that Jesus faced in the wilderness present a pattern that Satan has used since the creation of man. He had a nearly perfect plan to get even with God, but it failed at Calvary.
Satan’s Nearly Perfect Plan
By Pastor Jim May
There’s an old saying that goes like this: “Even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Things just don’t always work out the way we plan them to.
Satan’s plan to overcome man was perfect. He knew that if he could just get Adam to disobey God, that he would gain the upper hand in his battle against Heaven. Make no mistake about it, Satan is a very powerful, very intelligent, spiritual being. He’s not some made up fantasy creature – he’s real.
The bible, in Isaiah 14, tells us a lot about about Lucifer and we see from the picture that Isaiah paints that Satan is not a myth.
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that, “…Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
He can be as dark and shadowy as he wants to be and can sneak into the dark recesses of your heart and mind to destroy your soul, or he can change to glow with the power that God created him with in the beginning. He has the ability to transform himself into an angel of light, making himself to appear as bright, glorious and powerful as any angel in the Lord’s Host.
Because he is a deceiver, Satan can quickly gain the upper hand in his efforts to kill, steal and destroy God’s people.
He quickly persuades ministers of the gospel to become false preachers as they bend their ear to hear his lies and then change their message to reflect what they hear. We must be so very careful today of who and what we listen to. On the outside, their message may sound good to the ear, but it is destructive to the heart and the spirit for it is a message of worldliness and compromise. You really have to have your spiritual eyes and ears open to see the lies of Satan as they come forth.
Jesus gave us a warning about what we are facing in these last days when he said in Matthew 24:24, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Now the good news is that if you are one of the “very elect”, I don’t believe that it will be possible, for the scripture says, “if it were possible”, in effect saying that it’s not possible. Why not, you may ask? The answer is very simple. The “Very Elect” will be those whose hearts, souls, spirit and mind are fully committed to Christ and they are full of the Holy Spirit. They are allowing the Word of God to wash them daily. They are allowing the Holy Ghost to guide them, and their eyes are fixed on things eternal, not upon the things of this present world. They are ever vigilant and always on guard against any invasion of sin into their midst. And they quickly resist every trick of the devil that comes against them, causing him to flee from them in defeat.
In that condition, the very elect won’t be vulnerable to Satan’s lies and will see with eyes of the spirit, exactly what the devil is doing at every move. They won’t be fooled because the Spirit of God that dwells inside of them will convict them of sin, convince them of Satan’s plans and lead them into victory over his temptations. But you have to be one of the “Very Elect”, not just the chosen, not just an ordinary “name and claim it” or “ho-hum Christian”. This indicates to me that it will be a select few by comparison that will overcome the wiles of the devil. Only those who are in perfect harmony with Jesus Christ in every facet of their lives are going to be able withstand the onslaught of Satan’s lies.
Many in the church are falling prey to his nearly perfect plan right now as they compromise the standards of holiness, reject the traditions of Christianity and invite false teachers into their pulpits. Some have begun to ordain homosexuals to the ministry. Some have allowed the entertainment of the world with all its hype, to replace true worship. Many are following the teaching of the world on how to build a church instead of listening to the voice of the Spirit.
And that’s in the church. I’m not talking about all the lies and deceit that go on in the world; this is inside the church itself. I don’t believe that we can call anyone who compromises with the world, or listens to the voice of man, or follows after Satan’s plan to be a part of that “Very Elect” crowd.