Luke 4:3-4 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." (4) And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"
Satan may tempt us to doubt Christ's true identity. He knows that once we begin to question whether or not Jesus is God, it's far easier to get us to do what he wants. Times of questioning can help us sort out our beliefs and strengthen our faith, but those times can also be dangerous. If you are dealing with doubt, be aware that you are especially vulnerable to temptation. Even as you search for answers, protect yourself by meditating on the unshakable truths of God's Word.
Sometimes what we are tempted to do isn't wrong in itself. Turning a stone into bread wasn't necessarily bad. The sin was not in the act but in the reason behind it. The devil was trying to get Jesus to take a shortcut, to solve Jesus' immediate problem at the expense of his long-range goals, to seek comfort at the sacrifice of his discipline. Satan often works that way-persuading us to take action, even right action, for the wrong reason or at the wrong time. The fact that something is not wrong in itself does not mean that it is good for you at a given time. Many people sin by attempting to fulfill legitimate desires outside of God's will or ahead of his timetable. First ask: Is the Holy Spirit leading me to do this or is Satan trying to get me off the track?
Often we are tempted not through our weaknesses, but through our strengths. The devil tempted Jesus where he was strong. Jesus had power over stones, the kingdoms of the world, and even angels, and Satan wanted him to use that power without regard for his mission. When we give in to the devil and wrongly use our strengths, we become proud and self-reliant. Trusting in our own powers, we feel little need of God. To avoid this trap, we must realize that all our strengths are God's gifts to us, and we must dedicate those strengths to his service.
As I read this verse yesterday, then again today the phrase, "the devil said to Him" jumped off of the page at me. I am very much aware that the Holy Spirit is talking:
Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.'
I know that Jesus is talking:
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
But sometimes I forget that the devil is talking as well. The obvious question is "who am I listening and responding to?" Jesus responded with the Word of God, "It is written"
In our verse for today, the devil spoke to Jesus and tried to raise questions as to who Jesus really was. "If you are the really the Son of God..."
There are some today that the enemy whispers into their ears: if God loved you, you wouldn't be going through this battle; if you were special to God, things would be better in your life; if God cared, you would have already been through this storm in your life; if there really IS a God, He is too busy to worry Himself with someone like YOU.
And the lies and whispers of the devil go on and on. IF, IF, IF...
My friend, we need today to fine tune who we are listening to. We need to memorize God's Word, hide it in our heart and speak it forth when the enemy begins his speaking. I promise you he is speaking to you know. He will speak throughout today...but so will the Holy Spirit of God. Why not memorize Revelation 2:7 and John 10:27 then declare it out "it is writtten..." when the devil speaks into your life.
You ARE more than a conqueror. You ARE the apple of His eye. You WERE chosen by Him. You ARE His possession. You ARE declared righteous, sanctified and justified if you have accepted the blood of Jesus to cover your sins and past. You WILL make it through this valley victoriously. You CAN know the voice of Jesus. You WILL know the voice of the Holy Spirit as you develop and fine tune your ear towards Him. You ARE dead unto sin. Your life IS hidden with Christ. You ARE a new creation in Christ. You are the Sheep of HIS pasture. He WILL walk with you through whatever deep, dark valley you are in. You ARE NEVER alone, for Jesus promised to never leave you nor forsake you. You ARE NOT forgotten by the Lord. You ARE enscribed on the palms of His hands. You ARE protected against any weapon that is formed against you. You ARE more than a conqueror. God IS FOR YOU! And since God is for you, who or what can be against you?
I could go on and, but suffice it to say, the devil is talking...but so is the Spirit of God. Remember the devil always gets you to question God and His goodness and leads you FROM worship of God. The Spirit of God always reminds you of God's goodness and leads you TOWARDS worship of Him.
"Lord, thank you for reminding me that You are speaking to me. But so is the devil. I must make up my mind to hear the voice of the Spirit and rebuke and fight off the voice of the enemy. He is a liar and the father of lies. Help me to distinguish between truth and deception today. In Jesus name, amen!"
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 9:13 AM