The first temptation of Jesus Christ by satan in the desert tried to exploit his desperate physical need for food. The second aimed at exploiting his wholehearted belief in God’s word. The third tried to manipulate His vision of the emancipation of humanity. This systematically sequenced assault on Jesus reflects satan’s all-time effective strategy of exploiting your vulnerabilities to gain control over your life. Read all of that here as an introduction to today’s post.
Yesterday I revealed 2 of the 4 major weapons that Jesus used to overcome satan’s first temptation. Here are the next two:
Contentment means being grateful to God for all blessings – big or small.
For instance, contrary to what those who profit from the food and fitness industry say, the healthiest diet of all is any food that your money can afford, mixed with thanksgiving. The best dietician of all, the Holy Spirit Himself, taught me to give thanks for any food set on my table. It doesn’t matter what it is; if I’m genuinely thankful to God for it, that food will serve me better than the richest diet served in a wealthy man’s palace.
Rather than complain and whine like a crybaby over unpleasant and unfortunate circumstances, learn to count your blessings – no matter how small – and give thanks to God. Jesus Christ never complained about the lack of food in the desert. He was contented in the knowledge that His Father was always with Him. He knew who He was an did not judge Himself by His external circumstances.
If all you have is a pair of shirts and skirts, keep them clean; wear them with dignity and confidence; always give thanks to God. An attitude of contentment will defeat the devil’s first temptation on any day. As I told my children recently, in order to develop contentment, share your blessings with those who are less fortunate than you. Be on the side of the downtrodden. Do not despise anyone. Go out of your way to encourage those who are helpless.
#4. Spiritual Awareness
Jesus valued the word of God. To defeat the devil’s temptations, you must be able to discern and appreciate the intangible and invisible blessings of God. Become conscious of, and learn to value God’s intangible provisions.
Every material blessing is a shadow of a far more valuable and enduring spiritual blessing.
The word of God is a far more more valuable and enduring food than earthly food.
Jesus Christ is a far more valuable husband than any human being could ever dream of being.
Purity of heart is a far more valuable adornment than any jewelry you could ever put on your body.
The Holy Spirit is a far more energizing and refreshing drink than any wine on earth.
Let me bring this teaching to an end by referring you to the concluding verse in the story of Jesus temptation:
“Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
If you will let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, if you will develop endurance, contentment, and spiritual awareness, and if you will deploy these when the devil tempts you, you will prevail.
Every devil harassing and tempting you must leave you today.
Every satanic temptations and harassments going on in your life right now must be replaced by the ministrations of God’s holy angels.