I’ve read many times the account of Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness. This time the Holy Spirit gave me a fresh word.
They knew each other. This wasn’t their first encounter. God created Lucifer, “bright morning star”, the most beautiful and highest of all angels. Jesus was there. He was always at the right hand of God. He witnessed the creation of Lucifer. He witnessed Lucifer’s prideful revolt with one-third of the heavenly angels that led to their eviction from Heaven and a name change for Lucifer. Then Satan, “accuser, adversary”, believed that he had dominion over the earth until God created Adam and Eve and set them in charge of the earth. Jesus witnessed Satan’s apparent victory over mankind when Satan deceived Adam and Eve.
But God informed Satan that the offspring (seed) of the woman will ultimately destroy him. And from that moment Satan tried to poison or destroy the seed. The fallen angels procreating with women to poison the DNA (which led to the flood); King Herod ordering that all babies be murdered; the betrayal by Judas; the crucifixion. All satanic attempts to destroy Jesus.
The meeting between Jesus and Satan in the wilderness was just another tactic by Satan to thwart God’s redemptive plan for mankind. Notice that it was after 40 days of fasting that Satan shows up. Jesus was hungry. I can imagine that Satan thought, “ok, I have him now. He’s not at the right hand of God anymore. He’s here in my kingdom. He’s just a man now. He’s hungry, weak, tired, alone. Easy pickings.” Satan is very strategic with his battle plan. He tempts Jesus 3 times. Each time Jesus responded in the exact same manner. With Scripture. Nothing more. Nothing less. No debate. He doesn’t try to reason with Satan. He doesn’t try to convert Satan. He doesn’t waste any more energy than it takes to recite a quick scriptural response. Maybe that’s all of the energy Jesus had at the moment. But it was enough. Satan gave up. He’s no match for the Word of God. Luke 4:13 says of Satan, “…he departed from him until an opportune time.”
I’m sure that Satan celebrated at the crucifixion thinking that when Jesus said it was finished, He was confessing defeat, giving up. Can you imagine his surprise Sunday morning? But Satan hasn’t quit. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Satan still seeks opportune times to defeat anything, everything and everyone Godly. He still uses the same tactics. When we are hungry, weak, tired and alone, we create the perfect storm to invite Satan in. We need to know this. We need to be prepared. Try to never allow all of these conditions to happen at once. If we do, we need to realize our vulnerability and have the Word of God in us. It’s our greatest weapon, our strongest defense. But also be practical. Get rest. Eat regularly no matter how busy you are. Keep a pack of crackers in your desk, in your car, in your purse. Call or text someone. Reach out to one of your 228 friends on Facebook. Put on praise music. Open your mouth to praise God. Speak the Bible verses that you’ve memorized.
That’s sure to keep the Enemy away.