Tuesday, February 10, 2009



The three battlefronts of the world, the flesh and the devil are where Evil does its most powerful work with the results of demonization. Now we come to the bottom-line of what the Evil One did when confronting Jesus, Adam and Eve and what you can count on he'll throw at you. The theme of his attacks is based in the art of temptation. His temptation efforts are numerous, but have similar themes in every case.

Temptation forces a person into making choices. Peter Drucker, the corporate management specialist, says "Never before have we experienced so much pressure in the area of choice!" There is the power of choice, which will greatly alter your life. There is the preponderance of choices that are thrown at us every day. And, then there is the perplexity of choice. Everyone is hungering and thirsting for more clarity in life in order to be assured of making the right or wisest choice possible.

As we discussed yesterday we are bombarded with a myriad of thoughts that are raised up against the Lord and His Kingdom and we must bring them into submission to the Lord Jesus. When Jesus faced the direct temptation of the devil in the desert, Jesus was forced to make clear decisions.

Matthew records this temptation in chapter 4: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, (1) command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, (2) throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU';
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'" Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'" Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, (3) "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

Luke also records the same experience in chapter 4. Let's take each of the temptations and unpack them all a bit. FIRST-After Jesus was very hungry in the desert, the devil tempted Jesus to command a stone to become bread. Jesus came back at the devil with a passage out of the book of Deuteronomy: "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Jesus' mind was already made up and His answer was "No way!"

In this temptation the devil was luring Jesus with the lust of the flesh. It was a dependence or trust issue. He was trying to pull Jesus away from His dependence on the Lord. In the garden of Eden, Eve saw that the tree was good for food. In other words, if you were to be hungry, it was a good place to eat, even somewhat harmless.

SECOND-The devil took Jesus up to the pinnacle of the Temple and challenged Him to jump off, quoting scripture that promises that the Lord has angels that will catch Him. Jesus comes right back at him and says: "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." Again, quoting a passage out of Deuteronomy. Here the devil uses the lure or lust of the eyes. It was an issue of working with His desires. The devil also played with Eve's eyes and desires, too. Eve saw that the tree was pleasant to the eyes.

THIRD-The devil tempted Jesus with the lure of dominance and control. He showed Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world and offered them to Him, IF Jesus would bow down and worship the devil. The basic issue here is the boastful pride of life. In the garden Eve saw that the tree was to be desired to make one wise.

In the garden the devil progressed in his temptation from placing doubt in the hearts and minds of Adam and Eve, twisted what God actually said and then added to what God said. The Evil One is a master in the development of a lie. Beginning with a seed of doubt, he adds a little distortion. He then develops the distortion a bit by adding things on to what God has said. The distortion and the add-ons inevitably lead to actual denial of what God said in the first place. At this point the deception has occurred; the lie is complete.

When it comes to the devil and you, he is out to do whatever he can do to get you to believe the lie, which will result in disobedience to Jesus. John warns: Do not love the world nor the things in the world If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (I John 2:13-17)

As you can see these lusts are at the core of the temptation of the devil and his demons. He tried them out with Eve in the garden of Eden and was successful. He used them again with Jesus in the desert and was totally rejected. Today, the devil and his demons will do everything possible to use this same approach to tempt you. The lust of the flesh is replacing God's what with man's (devil's) what! The lust of the eyes is replacing God's way with man's (devil's) way! And, the pride of life is replacing God's will for man's (devil's) will!

Temptation revolves around a decision at a point in time. Eve chose to buy into it and Adam came along with her. Jesus chose not to budge at all. Now, it's your turn. If you are going to be a disciple of Jesus, then He must be the one you choose to follow-even in the smallest things of life.

Remember, temptation is like rat poison: It's filled with 96% nutrition and only 4% poison that can kill you.