Luke – Doors Wide Open
One of the best life-changing teachings in my lifetime was delivered to me at a break out session at the Billy Graham School of Evangelism years ago. Many Godly men and women came to share as great keynotes and teachers of the Word. Ron Hutchcraft, in particular, got my complete attention. His words led me to accept a new call of God on my life to go into full time ministry, leaving public school teaching. I thought I would teach school all my life. But God took me a different direction…(more than once!)
Ron also taught us a very important lesson about what the devil hates most in our lives. I have remembered his words to this day. As I read how Jesus, Son of God, combated the enemy, Ron’s words ring truth as it aligns with what our Lord said to the Tempter.
What DOES the devil hate?
–The Tempter hates believers on their knees, calling out to God in the Name of Jesus Christ.
–The Tempter hates those who know the Word of God and can use it as a sword of Truth to remain strongly defended.
–The devil also hates undivided, total focus on God, the Father as ruler, guide, provider and protector.
–The Tempter hates those who are Holy Spirit led.
–Bottom line…He hates all believers in God. He will do and say anything to get them to believe in him. He is the chief among all Liars. He has no power over God. He can only tempt us.
As we read how Jesus was tempted, ask for the Holy Spirit to teach us how to respond like our supreme, perfect example.
Luke , NLT
The Temptation of Jesus
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
3 Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”
5 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7 I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”
8 Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”
9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10 For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.
11 And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”
12 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
WHAT DO WE LEARN?
The Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness for this trial of temptation. However The Holy Spirit did not leave Jesus there. Jesus knew the Word. He was the Word.
When Jesus was physically weak, the Tempter came with what he thought Jesus would want most…physical bread to eat.
The Tempter then tried to reach his human side of pride and selfishness by lying about what he could give him…”all the kingdoms of the world”. Did Jesus chuckle a bit at this one? Jesus was there with God at the creation of the world and the universe surrounding it!
The Tempter wanted to see Jesus leap to his death telling Him he had super powers like Superman. Jesus knows the enemy well for they resided in heaven together until the Tempter was kicked out for all of these self desires. The Tempter wanted to be God! He still does.
The desires of the Tempter is to rule over God. As ludicrous as this sounds he still uses the only tactics he knows to get at us.
We must believe and respond to all the lies the evil one throws at us as Jesus did:
–I do not live or am driven by physical conveniences. “People do not live by bread alone.” We respond, “I live for God. I love the Lord, my God with all my heart, mind and soul. Jesus said, ‘I AM the bread of life.’ I will live serving Him.”
–I will worship God alone. I will serve God always. Only God.
–I will not test God’s ability to save me by doing things that are not good and right for me in His eyes.
Because of Jesus, we pray in His Name, for help in combating the evil that tempts us daily. He delivers from evil.
*Know Yourself. (Weak spots, what we might fall for when tempted.)
*Know God’s Word. Read, study, listen, meditate on it and allow the Holy Spirit in you to help you understand more and more. Delight in His Word. This is the “bread, daily manna” of sustaining real life.
*Know God, the Father, Jesus His Son, the Example and rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us out of temptation.
*Know the enemy. To know He exists and hates us helps us to recognize his schemes and combat him with all of heaven behind us.
We have no excuses for “it is written”.
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
We know we are tempted daily by this fallen angel who wants to destroy what you have put into us. Help us to be alert, not to glorify the enemy in any way, but to be ready when he lies subtly or out loud. I know you are always with us, for it is you I love first because you first loved me. Thank you for your Word that speaks to us with lessons that save our lives. Continue to transform us into all you intended for us to be.
In Jesus Name, Amen