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In Matthew 4:3, Satan says to Jesus, “If You are God's Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread” (AMP). Because Jesus was hungry, Satan tried to convince Jesus to use His power for personal gain. Many people in this world will do whatever it takes to gain personal power or wealth no matter who they have to step on to get it. Some will even steal from family members simply because the money was available and, since they are family, where is the harm in taking it. Politicians will lie and cheat just to get into a position of higher power, which even a president feels he is not above doing once in a while.
In Matthew 4:5-6 we read, “Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary. And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone” (AMP). Satan wanted Jesus to take matters into His own hands by trusting in His own powers to save Him from the fall, thereby tempting God to act where He has not directed. Many times we do this ourselves when we don’t rely on God’s power through His Holy Spirit to guide us or direct us to where He wants us to be. When we go outside of God’s path for our lives, we find misery, suffering and heartache. Since God did not direct Jesus to jump, then He was not obligated to save Him. God could have if He had wanted to, but He didn’t have to since it was not part of His plan for Jesus at that time. We fall and hurt ourselves terribly whenever we act alone without the Spirit’s help. But if we stay in the center of God’s plan for our lives, and do only what He has directed and guided us to do, we will find success, joy and peace. As Jesus said to Satan, “It has been said, ‘Never tempt the Lord your God'” (Luke 4:12/GW).
In Matthew 4:8-9, Satan “…took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them. And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me” (AMP). Every day of our lives, Christian or non-Christian, Satan tries to get us to do things that we know are wrong. Every day, he gives us choices that may on the surface seem good for us, but are truly vipers waiting to poison us with their fangs. He whispers to us that these things are necessary and we must have them to survive. The lie he told Eve in the garden is still the same old lie he uses today to get us to believe that we can run our own lives, by our own rules. The misery he brought upon our first parents is the same misery we find ourselves in when we believe what he says and then act on it.
If Jesus would have given into Satan, it would have made Him no different than any other man in flesh. Jesus already had all of the things Satan was tempting Him with, which, I’m sure, made it easier for Him to turn Satan down. Once we know who we are in Christ, we, too, can deny Satan his wishes for our lives. As Jesus did, we must send him back into the hell he came from.
All Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible: Amplified Version. Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987. Used by permission of The Lockman Foundation. Database © 2008 WORDsearch Corp.
Scripture marked (GW) is taken from GOD’S WORD®, © 1995 God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
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