Summary: As we continue in our series on Dynamic Disciples, or dynamic discipleship, our focus this month has been on Spiritual Warfare. The focus of this message is The Battle of Temptation.
Spiritual Warfare: The Battle of Temptation
As we continue in our series on Dynamic Disciples, or dynamic discipleship, our focus this month has been on Spiritual Warfare.
This morning the focus of my message is The Battle of Temptation.
Have you ever said “It’s not my fault”?
Maybe it wasn’t or maybe it was... Often we choose to do something and it all goes horribly wrong and rather than admit we have done something we try to blame someone else for our actions or inactions.
Many in the secular world we live in today would argue that there is no absolute truth. A wrong can be considered right if done for an appropriate reason. It’s OK to lie to protect someone from the truth. There is no black and white only shades of grey.
The secular world may ignore the truth of God’s Word, they may ignore His words recorded for us in the Bible.
Perhaps for some people ignorance is bliss as the saying goes... But there is a very real battle taking place that has been going on since the beginning of creation.
A spiritual battle between the truth of God and the deceptions of the devil.
The Bible clearly reveals what is right and wrong according to God’s standards.
The Bible shows us what God calls good & what He says is evil.
Yet the Devil tries his hardest to lure us away from the truth, he tempts us and beckons us away from God’s will and purpose.
Satan even tried to tempt Jesus away from following the will and purposes of Father God.
In the 4th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we are told that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil for forty days.
Jesus ate nothing during His time in the wilderness, He was there to pray and to fast.
Jesus was fully God yet also fully man and naturally He became hungry.
The devil perceived an opportunity to tempt Jesus and says to Him “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
Forty days in the desert, hot, tired, hungry, what would you do?
Son of God, able to create something from nothing. Remember, later in His public ministry Jesus would feed thousands of people with a small boys packed lunch and still have baskets left over.
When the devil tempts Jesus, humanly speaking it would have required no more than a single word from His lips and the Stone would have become the best thing since sliced bread.
But Jesus resists the temptation and tells the devil, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”
Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3 People do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
The Word of God is powerful, it transforms lives, it encourages, it sustains.
Round 1 to Jesus, the devil comes back for round 2 and this time he tries a different form of temptation.
The Bible tells us that the devil took Jesus and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Then the devil says to Jesus, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them, because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”
Now perhaps to some people that would be enticing, the prospect of wealth, power, fame.
Leave God out of the picture, follow the ways of the world, follow the ways of Satan and everything you could possibly dream of is yours.
A lifetime of opulence, luxury, sinful living...
Ah but at what price? What’s the bottom line? What is the small print on the contract?
It can all be yours in exchange for the simple price of an eternity in Hell.
Ignore God, live unrepentant of your sin, worship that which was created instead of the Creator.
I can imagine the devil standing there contract in hand, pen at the ready, thinking to himself - this is gonna work.
And I can imagine Jesus turning to Him and looking Satan straight in the eye and saying “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’”
Again Jesus quoted from the book of Deuteronomy 6:13 some translations use the word fear rather than the word worship “You must fear the Lord your God and serve Him.”
The Greek and Hebrew words translated fear in the Bible can have several shades of meaning, in the context of the fear of the Lord, it means a positive reverence.
In Greek the noun phobos means “reverential fear” of God, not a mere ‘fear’ of His power and righteous retribution, but a wholesome dread of displeasing Him.