In the early 1970’s, entertainer and comedian Flip Wilson popularized the phrase, “the devil made me do it.” America laughed at his catchphrase, perhaps because it touched-on what most rather hope is true—that our sin is not our fault. Yes, there is a tempter, and yes, he is very good at what he does. Still, God expects His people to overcome temptation. He has provided ample warnings, safeguards and helps. He sent His Son to not just tell us how to live, but to show us how to overcome (Hebrews 4:15; john 13:15). Further, the Apostle Paul notes that in the midst of temptation God provides a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13) for those who seek it, and the Apostle John reminds us that God extends a power to His people that is greater than the power of the enemy (1 John 4:4b).
Is it easy to overcome temptation? Absolutely not. And certainly one who is not spiritually prepared and not surrounded by strong brothers and sisters in the faith stands little chance of withstanding the attacks of such a cunning and deceptive advisory. It is true that Satan often prevails, but overcoming is possible. The ability to overcome is not a possibility, or a probability, but a promise in Scripture (1 Cor. 10:13). Jesus desires that believers overcome, and will help believers to overcome.
In this teaching from Matthew 4, I review how Satan tempted Jesus, how Jesus responded when tempted, and extrapolate strategies and practices that should prove helpful for believers today.
Here is a link to the teaching: OVERCOMING TEMPTATION
A FEW CONSIDERATIONS:
Know your enemy
‘Devil’ ( διάβολος = Diabolos)
- More than a proper noun, devil is a descriptive term that points to what he does
- the word devil is linked to slander, backbiting, oppose
- The devil:
- has armies. 24:21; Rev. 14:14–17; 16:16
- sows tares among God’s wheat. 13:24–30, 36–43
- instigates false doctrine. 1 Tim. 4:1–3
- perverts the Word of God. 3:1–4
- hinders the works of God’s servants. 1 Thess. 2:18
- resists the prayers of God’s servants. 10:12–13
- blinds men to the truth. 2 Cor. 4:4
- accuses the saints. Job 1:7–12; 3:1–4; Rev. 12:10
- lays snares for God’s people. 2 Tim. 2:26; 1 Tim. 3:7; Matt. 4:1; Eph. 6:11; job 2:7; Luke 13:16; 2 Cor. 12:7; Acts 10:38; Rev. 12:9; 20:8, 10
- Will try to trap you