Friday, July 22, 2016

Three Lies Satan Tells

My study this morning was in Matthew 4.  It was on the heels of God giving me a battle cry yesterday: “This is war, I know my enemy, and I will not retreat.” I must have heard that come through my head a dozen times yesterday.  In some ways I did retreat, I walked away from a battle I think I could have fought and won with God on my side.  But sometimes, during the battle, the victory isn’t seen so clearly.  I believe what I read this morning uncovered some of what I was facing.

You see, in the midst of spiritual battles, satan will lie to you.  He did it to Jesus on the mountain, and his tactics have not changed.  This morning while reading about Jesus’ temptation by satan, I saw three lies he tells us.

Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” – Matthew 4:3

The first lie he tells us is in questioning our identity.  He said to Jesus “IF you are the Son of God”.  If he can get you to believe this lie, that God is not with you and not concerned about you as His child, the battle is over my friend.  With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) and without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

“and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” – Matthew 4:6

The second lie he used was to question God’s word.  He used it to tempt Jesus, but he also twisted God’s word ever so slightly.  The truth is in Jesus’ reply: “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.  If satan can get you to believe his version of God’s word, it soon will all fall apart, and you’ll question God in entirety.  Be careful what you believe to be truth.  If it’s not in God’s word, it’s not truth.  God warned us to study to show ourselves approved, as a worker who does not need to be ashamed and is able to use the truth (2 Timothy 2:15).  God’s word is the full measurement of truth and in it you will find all your answers.

“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” – Matthew 4:8-9

Ah, satan is such a liar!  The earth and the fullness thereof belongs to God (Deuteronomy 10:14). There’s NOTHING here that he can give you but grief and pain.  Ask yourself, what did he give Job when God allowed him to invade Job’s life? 

Yet, he tried to tempt Jesus with riches.  Friends, many of us fall in and out of that trap on a daily basis.  But in Jesus own words in Mark 8:36 He warns us, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  No doubt Jesus was reflecting on satan’s attempt to make him sell out on that mountain.  But satan can not give you what he does not own.  Instead, God offers us the riches of this world and beyond.  Read Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and the blessings of obedience to God, or Malachi 3:8-12 regarding the blessing of tithing.  If you want all the things in this life that will make you happy, my friend, they are in God’s hand, and He is willing to give them.  But He will not give them at the risk of having you worship them above Him.  He knows your heart.  When you put God first, blessings abound, because that is His will towards His obedient children.  Ephesians 3:20 tells us He is able to do more than we can even imagine. 

Yes, this is a war.  It is a war in the soul.  But my friends, we must stand our ground, remember who you are, remember what God's word says, remember who he is NOT, and tell the enemy “I will not retreat.  Not today satan, not today! And tomorrow’s not looking good for you either!"  With God with us and within us, there is victory.


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