Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! (Matthew 4:1-3, 5-6)
The Apostle Paul wrote that he and his fellow-laborers were not ignorant of Satan’s devices; yet unfortunately many believers are. Rarely does the devil attack us head-on. Most often his methodology is based upon his schemes and craftiness. Notice how he went against the Lord Jesus – “If you are the Son of God…” Did Satan not know that Jesus was the Son of God? Of course he did. There was time when the devil was the angel Lucifer and assigned the task of guarding the glory of the Lord. His question was not genuine in that he was seeking to know who Jesus was. No, Satan had other intentions and let me suggest what three of those intentions might have been.
Perhaps a part of his scheme was to cause Jesus to DOUBT. Perhaps he thought that he could somehow weakened the Lord if he could cause Him to question – ”Am I really the Son of God?” I suggest that because that is exactly what the devil often does to us. “Am I really a Christian? Does God really love me? Will God help me in my time of need?” If the devil can cause us to doubt, he can cause us to despair.
Another part of his scheme might have been to cause Jesus to DEBATE. Some Christians are foolish enough to think that they can outwit the devil and out-debate him. We need to learn a lesson form Michael the archangel, “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9) Jesus didn’t debate with Satan; He simply quoted him scripture. If the devil is harassing you over something, find a verse of scripture and keep it with you. Satan is no match against the truth.
Maybe the devil thought that he could cause Jesus to doubt, or maybe he thought he could make the Lord debate; but above everything else I think that he wanted to make Jesus to become DISTRACTED. Satan wanted Jesus to take His eyes off of doing His Father’s will and to focus on Himself. “You’re hungry – feed Yourself! You’re important – prove Yourself! Forget for a moment what the Father has sent You to do and focus on Yourself!”
That’s where the devil wins his greatest battles. Whenever he can cause a believer to take their eyes off of God and to focus on self, he has that individual in his back pocket.
Don’t let the devil cause you to DOUBT, DEBATE, or become DISTRACTED.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)