The Devil Still Prowls…Be Ready!

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 in Faith | 69 comments

Have you heard it said that the devil’s greatest deception is making you think he doesn’t exist? But we know he does because Scripture says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He spoke to Eve, he spoke to Job, he’s spoken to me, and I imagine he’s spoken to you. Taking words directly from the Bible, he is crafty; he tempts us, prompts us, and leads us; he takes away the word from our heart; he arranges schemes to trap us, and his work is to deceive us (see Genesis 3:1; Matthew 4:1; John 13:2; Luke 4:5; Luke 8:12; Ephesians 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:26; and Revelation 20:19). It boggles my mind how prideful he was when he tried to tempt JESUS!

Instead of looking at that famous exchange of words in Matthew 4, my hope is to strengthen each one of us against the wiles of the devil by acknowledging three contextual aspects of the temptation of Jesus instead. First, the devil came to Jesus at a time when He was extremely vulnerable: Jesus had been fasting forty days and forty nights for Pete’s sake! Yes, He was God but He was also man—we can’t fathom what would have been His level of weakness and hunger. Point #1: The devil wants to take advantage of us when we are most susceptible to his wooings. Because the devil ultimately wants us to forfeit our soul, he tries to appeal to whatever part of us—heart, mind, or body—is most empty and wanting/needing to be filled.

Secondly, we need to recognize that “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1). God knew what He was doing, and He was in control of the situation. In the first two chapters of Job, when Satan and God converse, it is crystal clear that Satan can only do what God allows. Point #2: No matter what temptations we face, no matter how relentless Satan seems in his pursuit of us, we must remember God is in control, and the devil actually has no power over us. He wants us to think he does, but he doesn’t. Our mind has the choice, and God has ultimate power. Often in the face of temptation, we must choose to trust Him.

Lastly, have you ever noticed the devil’s temptation of Jesus came immediately after  John’s baptism of Jesus? Last year, after my baptism in the Jordan River, I experienced intense spiritual warfare. I had had such grand expectations of the after-effects of my baptism, and the last thing I anticipated was an attack by the devil. But had I known Scripture better, I would have realized I SHOULD have expected Satan to come on as strong as possible after my spiritually climactic experience. Point #3: When we have enjoyed some sort of spiritual zenith, we must be more on guard than ever to resist the devil and his tactics. I’ve heard it said many times that the devil doesn’t care so much about the lukewarm; he is threatened by those passionate about their faith and wants to destroy them.

There’s so much more in this passage about which we could dialogue, but mainly I wanted to encourage you to start a “Strength Journal.” This is a tried-and-true practice by Yours Truly. We NEED to be prepared for the devil’s attacks, so take time to write down verses which are powerful and personal to you. Jesus fought back with Scripture, and we should too. By knowing and quoting the Word of God, we will be amply armed!

PLEASE let me know if you start a “Strength Journal” and the difference it makes in your life…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *