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Jesus really faced down the Tempter in each situation. Take a moment to read Jesus response to the Tempters demands. All Jesus responses affirmed the sovereignty of God! They showed an intimate and practical knowledge of Scripture! They each displayed a complete unwillingness on Jesus part to act selfishly or even in his own interest! But one more insight is crucial here: Notice that God had prepared his Son to be victorious over these temptations before they ever started. What are Satans first works to Jesus? If you really are the Son of God... Satan couldnt arouse doubt, fear, or suspicion in Jesus mind about his relationship with God. God had already made clear at Jesus baptism when he claimed that Jesus is my son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.
God won and Satan lost in this encounter. Guess what? God will ALWAYS win! In the end, Satan will ALWAYS lose. We know who will win the game. Do we want to be on the winning side? Or will we give up, and give in to temptation, and side with the Loser of all eternity? After all, God always provides a way of escape ( I Corinthians 10:13), right!?
Sounds so easy, doesnt it. But when were in the desert it is not easy! Its excruciating. Its lonely. Its hard. Its a wasteland! So how do we look to Jesus and find inspiration for out trip through the desert? Well...
Lets first acknowledge that winning the battle of the desert doesnt begin in the desert. Jesus defeated Satan because he knew God and also knew that God loved him. What are we doing to grow in our knowledge and experience of God - not as a subject to be studied but as a Father to be known? Lets get to know God, our loving Father, better.
Second, lets see the importance of exalting God to the place of praise and worship in our lives. Knowing the value of the key players in our desert drama helps us see beyond Satans deceptive, short-sighted, and destructive offers.
Third, we need to know the Scriptures. Not to be a Bible thumper, but to be a Satan thumper! We dont spend time in Scripture to win arguments, but to win the war against the enemy, Satan! We can crowd out his evil lies by knowing Gods truth and answering his perversions of Gods will with Gods truth.
Fourth, lets stay involved with Gods family. The way we feel the arms of Gods love and hear the voice of his support and encouragement is from hearing it from his family. We need to be deeply rooted in a church family so that when Satan comes to us and tries to make us fell all alone and not a part, we can know it is not true. We know we are his children whom he loves and that we bring him pleasure!
Wed all like a trap door that would allow us a last minute escape or a band of marauding angelic storm troopers to come in and beat the tar out of the devil and rescue us like from our war with the evil one. But like Jesus, our times in the desert are most often won before we get there because of the spiritual connections and disciplines weve already developed in our lives. So if were on the winning team, lets spend time with the winners. Lets praise God and put in the highest place in our lives. Lets get to know God better and spend more time in his Word. Then we can resist the attacks of the Loser and win the war in the desert that insures lifes greatest dessert, heaven.
Now, where is that piece of chocolate pie, my boiled chicken will just have to wait!
HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-98, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Article copyright © 1999, Cary Branscum. Used by permission.
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