Taken from Pete’s series What Will Jesus Do?.
As many have learned and later taught, you don’t realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have. — Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods
The first step to overcoming temptation is to acknowledge your enemy is a strategic foe. So let’s talk about Satan’s strategies.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and at the end of them, he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” (Luke 4:1-4)
First, Satan will come after you when you are alone. Think about it: You’re on a business trip, checked into the hotel room, and you’re tempted to watch things you wouldn’t watch if your spouse were beside you.
Of course, if we are in Christ, we are never alone. But let’s be clear and say that Satan waits until we aren’t with other people.
The second thing we must realize is that our enemy attacks when we are depleted. At the end of 40 days, Scripture says Jesus was hungry. You think? He wasn’t just hungry; he was exposed in nature’s elements. Satan saw an opportunity in the midst of exhaustion and weakness. He attacks us the same way today.
Finally, Satan undermines our identity. “If you are the Son of God … ”
The Scripture right before this passage recorded the voice of God the Father announcing His praise for the Son following Jesus’ baptism. “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Yet the next words quoted are Satan’s, “If you are the Son of God … ”
Nothing has changed. Satan still goes after our identity in Christ. He waits until we are alone and exhausted, and he leads us to question our relationship with God. If I were really a Christian …
Recognizing Satan’s strategies helps us understand how temptation enters and becomes sin. We can develop a strategy of our own and fight back.
Victorious God, thank You for calling out the schemes of our enemy. My prayer is that I’ll remember these tactics in my own faith journey and the journeys of others as I come alongside them in their struggles and temptations. Amen.