Wednesday, September 23, 2009
And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered him, “It is said,‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
I had one of those great aha! moments reading this. I've always been taught that one of the ways that we resist temptation is to quote Scripture, like Jesus did during His temptation. When Satan tempts us, his first goal is to get us to believe a lie. So we combat these lies, these false promises, with truth. But get this...do you know that Satan also quotes Scripture? Satan knows Scripture better than we do, and he knows how to twist Scripture. That's scary, isn't it!
The first step of fighting sin is understanding that Satan is so much smarter than I am. He is very clever, very sneaky. The Bible says that he's like a lion, prowling around looking for something to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Here's the good news, though. Just as Jesus resisted, so we are to resist. And I don't believe that God would give us this command if it weren't possible to obey it. Even though Jesus was weak, and even though Satan was coming at him quoting Scripture, he stood firm. He still responded with Scripture. Soon after this, Satan left. He knew that Jesus wasn't going to fall.
Father, may I never underestimate the power of Satan, but even more so, may I never underestimate Your power. May I continue to grow closer to You, and continue to become the person that You are calling me to be.
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).