For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life is not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16 (ESV)
Today, I will be discussing what is Satan’s reservoir when it comes to tempting us. First, Satan can only tempt us with what we desire. I will be comparing Eve’s temptation (Genesis 3) and Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13 and Mark 1:12-13). Since Satan used the same dirty tricks with both Eve and Jesus.
The Pride of Life
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, ; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.‘” ; But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. ; For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” ; He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden‘?” Genesis 2-5
It’s peculiar that one of his attacks is the very thing that overcame Satan, pride. Satan thought He was better God, convincing some of the other angels of the exact ideal. So God threw Satan and those who he’d had turned against God; out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). Then Satan puts a spin on it ‘knowing good and evil’. As, if to convince Eve she’d be doing God a favor; having this knowledge of discernment.
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple ; and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’; “‘On their hands they will bear you up,; and ; lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” Matthew 4:5-6
This proves that our enemy knows just as much Scripture as we do, and in fact probably more. Satan knew Jesus was, in fact, the Son of God. But, wanted Jesus to ‘show off’, just because Satan had questioned His authority. Here, Satan quotes two different verses (Ps 91:11 and 12). But, he was no match for Jesus who is the Word.
The Desires of the Flesh
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food.. Genesis 3:6 A
Eve at this point was already convinced by the crafty serpent. She spoke no more, the Bible only describes what she does. She doesn’t speak again until God arrives and asks “What is this that you have done?” That serpent probably slinked away, already knowing it was done.
And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
Jesus was at the end of His 40 days and nights without food (I can’t imagine) and was very hungry. As Luke 4:13 reminds us the enemy stalks and waits for the most opportune time. Jesus was weak with hunger, yet (thankfully) would not budge. Jesus who would begin His ministry sometime after this fast; would do miracles turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). And, feeding a great crowd with very little fish and bread (Luke 9:10-17). So, He could very well make a feast appear in the wilderness if He were as prideful as Satan is. Also, this fast would discipline His new flesh, for what He would do for all of us on the cross.
The Desires of the Eyes
…And it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of it’s fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6B
The fruit looked appealing, but it was more than food; it came with a promise. Eve had no clue how a bite of a piece of fruit would change existence as we know it. Couldn’t have known that what seemed desirable, would come with a lifelong curse for her, Adam, the serpent and their offspring.
Again, the devil took him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Genesis 3:8-9
Satan attempted to tempt Jesus by taking Him on a high mountain, where these kingdoms must have look picture perfect. Now, we know even through extreme hunger and probably fatigue; Jesus would never entertain Satan. But, all of this took place so we would know how to fight back. Jesus fights back with Scriptures, so we too must fight this way. We have to press on in our studies so we can guard ourselves, by standing on God’s truth.
Yesterday, I was under attack, and just sat there and didn’t bother to fight back with the Truth. So, sometimes it’s not that we don’t know; we choose not to fight back. I knew all I had to do was to pray or pick up my Bible, but ‘I didn’t feel like it’. I cried, and the angels came and ministered to me. But, what I’ve taken from this is, I have to not be led by my feelings. I have to admit that my feelings are always quite foolish and fleshly. And, that I must deny myself more than I currently do. Jesus calls for us to deny ourselves daily (Luke 9:23-24). An awesome sermon I watched that very night, is titled ‘Denial produces Discipline’. And, I’ve been wholly convicted that I need to add self-denial into my everyday living. And, the key to rich prayer life and ‘quiet time’; is discipline.
- I can’t seem to get over how God walked in the garden, among them (Genesis 3:8)! How awesome! You could be chatting with some friends, and someone would exclaim ‘God is here!’ What! Blessedly, when we fight the good fight, finish our race and keep our faith (2 Tim 4:7)- this again will be a very real, eternal reality for us.
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I love you, but God loves you more.