We all have needs that we need met. A new car, a job, a husband, a house, a child, healing- the list is endless. Some of us just started waiting for God to move in a certain situation while others have been waiting for years. The enemy likes to come in and take advantage of our lack. He begins to magnify our need as if life can’t go on until it is handled and sometimes it makes us question God. In Matthew 4, Jesus had a need. Satan used that need to try to get Jesus to turn his back on God. Today, the enemy still tries to do the same with us. Let’s take a look at some of his tricks and let’s learn from Jesus how to overcome them.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:1-4)
Jesus had just finished fasting for 40 days. The man was hungry. And what does Satan do? He tempts him with food. Here’s three stones Jesus, why don’t you just turn it into loaves of bread. He was mocking Jesus and taking advantage of his current situation to get him to do something the Father wouldn’t be pleased with.
He does the same to us. You could be sitting in a room full of people enjoying great conversation then all of a sudden the enemy whispers to you: “You know you’re the only one that’s single here”.
Or you’re in church listening to a powerful testimony of how God just blessed someone with a job and here the enemy comes again: “Where is your job? You’ve been waiting for months.”
Or maybe you’ve been married for years and you see all these newlyweds getting pregnant and he says: “But why isn’t your child here yet.”
He magnifies your condition enough for you to begin thinking, “Can God really supply what I need?”
He said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God”. He questions whether Jesus is truly the Son of God because if you really are the Son of God then he shouldn’t let you go hungry. That “if” causes you to question your own position with God. Am I really His son? Am I really His daughter? Does He really remember me? Then the enemy starts to spread more lies:
You know if you are really his daughter he wouldn’t have you waiting this long to find your husband.
If you are really his daughter he should have giving you many job offers by now.
If you are really his daughter then why are you struggling to have a child?
The big If. He uses your condition to make you doubt God’s love for you. What kind of Father knows exactly what you need and is not providing it for you?
Jesus was hungry and the enemy gave him a solution for his hunger: turn these stones into bread. But Jesus knew that wasn’t the will of God. No matter how hungry he was he knew he needed to wait on God.
The enemy loves to provide an alternate route. The alternate route may not always be something illegal or “sinful”. In fact, the alternate route he provides usually makes a lot of sense. That’s why it’s a temptation. If it didn’t make sense it’ll be easy for us to say no. But the end result is always a disaster. He’ll push you into a toxic relationship just so you can say you’re no longer single. He’ll have you settle for a job way below your qualifications just so you can have money. He’ll have you start looking into alternative ways to get pregnant when God hasn’t even directed you there.
There are 2 things we can do to overcome the temptation of the enemy.
Jesus didn’t play footsie with the enemy. He didn’t ask questions. He didn’t get clarity on what kind of stone he should use. He didn’t think up ways to justify it in his mind. He just said No.
We need to do the same. Resist the devil. Don’t give him an inch because then he’ll go a mile. Know the difference between God’s voice and the enemy’s voice. As soon as you hear him, shut him out of your thoughts. Immediately.
The Devil is persistent and sometimes we actually need to fight. But when you fight, fight him with the Word of God. As soon as the enemy came Jesus quoted the scriptures for him: Deuteronomy 8:3. Jesus was ready for him. This is why it’s so important to know your Bible. The enemy standing at your doorstep is not the time to go and find your ammunition. You should have your ammunition on you at all times. For each lie the enemy throws at you throw him a promise of God. There is literally a scripture in the Bible for any attack that comes your way. Meditate on the Word day and night and you’ll be ready. Stick close to the Holy Spirit and he will help you.