Do modern cartoon and commercial images of the devil make him seem like some unreal storybook character to you?
Scripture makes it clear: the devil is real, and he’s our spiritual enemy. He opposes God and seeks to destroy God’s work, including anyone who chooses to follow God.
Do you see the devil’s tactic in verse 3 of Luke 4?
‘Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
‘And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
‘But Jesus answered him, saying, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”‘
‘Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him,
‘”All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
‘And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”
‘Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”
‘And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”
‘Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time’ (Luke 4:1-13, NKJV).
The Devil’s Tactic
The devil said, “‘If you are the Son of God….’” The devil sought to bring Jesus’ identity as the Son of God into question. He challenged Jesus to prove He’s really God’s Son by performing a miracle, turning stones into bread. Jesus, secure in His identity, refused to fall into the devil’s trap. He defeated the devil by quoting God’s Word: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Satan tried twice more to tempt Jesus but was unsuccessful. Each time Jesus used the Word of God to resist the devil’s tactics.
Has the devil ever tried to make you question your own identity?
He often tries to make us believe that we are not really Christians and reminds us of situations when we have failed. But remember that Satan is a liar, and that’s all he ever does. That’s his nature. None of us will ever be perfect in this life, but as often as we stumble, God’s forgiveness is available. Don’t let Satan’s lies discourage or defeat you.
Are you wrestling with thoughts and issues that are causing you to doubt your identity?
Ask God to show you the truth about yourself and your relationship with Him. Your identity as a child of God is secure, because God holds onto those that are His. So, the next time the devil tries to undercut your identity, how will you defeat him? Remember Jesus’ example; defeat Satan with God’s Word. It worked every time for Jesus, and it will work for you as well.
The content of this article comes from “The Warrior’s Bible” (2014) and is copyrighted by Life Publishers International. Used with permission.