Lucia's Blog: GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, November 13, 2015

GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!

"From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.  Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.'  But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s."'     
Matthew 16:21-23


God's purposes are higher than ours.  We always get into trouble when we let Satan take advantage of our lower wants and dreams.  As great a disciple as Peter was, in the beginning, his carnal dreams closed his eyes and ears to the divine purposes that Jesus pursued.  Peter stumbled, but Jesus' vision was clear and true even as He pressed toward the terrible suffering and death of the cross; beyond that, the joys prepared by the Father.


I.   JESUS REBUKES PETER

After Peter had made the great confession that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus began to explain certain things about His approaching death.  Jesus had been teaching about the kingdom of God for awhile but had not revealed much to His disciples regarding His suffering, death, and resurrection (John 2:19-22;3:14; Matt. 12:38-40).  Although Peter had made his confession, the apostles still needed to be instructed on God's eternal plan for the Christ. It is amazing how little they understood about His ministry, especially His death and resurrection.

Since Peter did not comprehend what Jesus had said (Matthew 16:21-23), he impulsively took Jesus aside  and began to rebuke Him saying,  "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."   You see, Peter's biggest problem was that he failed to comprehend fully Jesus' prophecy and the promise of His resurrection.  Why?  Because of his misconceptions.  Jesus predicted Peter's denial saying, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;  but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32).   Prayer is vital when rebuking Satan to get behind us!

Although Peter's actions were misleading, they were unquestionably done with good intentions.  In his misconception, Peter thought Jesus needed encouragement and comfort.  He did not want Jesus' words to dishearten the rest of the disciples.  Peter's failure was in overstepping Jesus' authority. Why?  Because he assumed he knew better than Jesus, the Christ (the one he had just confessed as the Messiah, the Son of the living God!).  And although Peter had confessed Jesus as the Christ, he did not have a good grasp of the work of the Messiah. 

Jesus' response to Peter ('"Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s") might have been shocking to all who were present. He labeled Peter as "Satan" since he was behaving as the "adversary," though he did not know it. In Matthew 26:39, Jesus as man did not want to suffer and die.  Peter needed to encourage Him to complete His Father's mission, not discourage Him!  Satan used him as Jesus' adversary to oppose the work of suffering and dying  to save mankind.  Peter had become an offense to Jesus since he was tempting Him to not fulfill the purpose which He came to accomplish here on Earth ("For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost").  (Luke 19:10).  Peter did not comprehend fully God's will since he was being misguided by his own judgment and carnal emotions.

Satan is undeniably our adversary.  When Jesus called Peter "Satan," He was not telling Peter he was actually Satan but rather that when Peter rebuked the Lord, he was doing Satan's work.  When Jesus told Peter to get behind Him, He desired Peter to be His follower and not a servant (agent) of Satan. Notice that when Jesus reprimanded Peter, He did not scold him like He did Satan in Matthew 4:10 ("Away with you, Satan!").  When Jesus told Peter to get behind Him, He wanted Peter to be His follower and not Satan's servant.  Satan, the adversary, was the source of Peter's stumbling words.  By saying these words, Peter was not minding the work of God but rather thinking as an earthly man.


II.   A TRUE FOLLOWER OF JESUS

Soon after Jesus had rebuked Peter firmly, He continued,
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. '  Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.'"   (Matthew 16:24-28)
This text is speaking of what it means to be a faithful disciple of Jesus our Lord.  Consider the steps that Jesus requires in our daily walk with Him ("come after me").

  1. Desire.  Yearning to become His disciple is a prerequisite (precondition) to truly becoming one.
  2. Deny Self.  One must be willing to love God with all his heart, mind, soul and strength in all facets of life (seeking His kingdom and His righteousness first, Matt. 6:33) to genuinely serve God.  God must be our first priority and nothing else.  Our own needs and desires must become secondary to the will of God.  We must crucify self and let God live in us by faith in His Son.  (Gal. 2:20; I Cor. 6:19-20). 
  3. Take up One's Cross in Our Daily Walk With Him.  Faithfulness and godliness are only accomplished when one counts the cost of discipleship and bears his own burdens.  (Gal. 6:5; 2 Tim. 3:12).
  4. Follow Jesus.  To follow Jesus demands:
    • The desire to willingly deny self.
    • To count the cost.
    • To willingly suffer (persecution or death).
By meeting all of this requirements, one is then able to:
    • Genuinely follow Jesus.
    • Obey God's will in everything.
    • Imitate Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).
    • It is impossible to follow Jesus if one does not meet first the three requirements.

I would surely have been interesting to see Peter's reaction to Jesus' words here in Matthew 16:24-28. After all, it seems that Peter had rejected the concept of suffering and dying for Jesus.  Jesus had not only rebuked Peter but had also declared that His true followers must be willing to suffer with Him!  Indeed those who claim to be true followers of Jesus must sacrificially deny themselves and bear the burdens that accompany faithfulness and godliness.  As Jesus our Lord was willing to deny Himself and lose His life for mankind, so we must be willing to do the same for Him.

"He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."  (Matt. 10:39)

One who refuses to follow Jesus and does not lose his life, and does not die to self to serve Him will lose his life and die spiritually.  On the contrary, one who freely gives his life for Jesus and dies to self to serve Him will find spiritual life (Phil. 1:21).  When one is genuinely a true follower of Jesus, there is nothing in this world that can prevent him from serving Him faithfully.  Even when man tries to sever his spirit from his body, his spirit lives on!

"For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?"  (Matt. 16:26).  

What would have profited Peter and the Jews to have gained a physical kingdom (the one they were waiting for) and yet lost their souls?   Jesus was trying to highlight the inefficiency of a physical, earthly kingdom in comparison to the heavenly one.  To Jesus man's soul is more valuable than all the riches of this world.  Thus, to sell one's soul at any price in this world is foolishness!  It is vital that we understand what is truly of value and have the same attitude that Moses presented.

"By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to share ill treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he looked unto the recompense of reward."  (Hebrews 11:24-26).   
Likewise, our Lord declared in Matthew 16:27 that each one of us would be rewarded or punished according to our works (the life we have lived) when He comes again.  (Rom. 6:26; 2 Cor. 5:10).

In Matthew 16:28, Jesus closes by saying,

"Verily I say unto you, there are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."
Even though Jesus had already been talking about His coming in final judgment, His listeners were still thinking of an earthly kingdom with an earthly Messiah.  Therefore, He assured them He would not fail in establishing His kingdom although He had already foretold His death.  Jesus also reassured them that some would not die until they should see "the kingdom of God come with power."  (Mark 9:1).

It is amazing to me that some today would have the audacity to claim that the kingdom of God is not yet established.  What they don't acknowledge is that in order to maintain that position, they must deceitfully believe that some of those of whom Jesus spoke are still alive after 2,000 years.  It is absurd since that is not the case here.  They ignore that Jesus established his kingdom with power in the first century.  In Acts 1:8 we learn that the apostles received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them.  Indeed, the Holy Spirit came upon them with power on Pentecost (Acts 2:1).  Therefore, the kingdom was established on that day, the day of Pentecost.  The church is that kingdom where 3,000 souls repented, were baptized, were forgiven and were added to it.

"They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls."   (Acts 2:41).

III.   THE TEMPTING OF JESUS

Soon after Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, He was "led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."  (Matt. 4:1).  God's will was for Jesus to be tempted by Satan. Why?  Because it was absolutely necessary that Jesus "was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin," so as to be our High Priest who could be sympathetic to our weaknesses.  (Hebrews 4:15).  When we are tempted to sin, it does not mean that we have sinned.  Why?  Because it would suggest that Jesus was not tempted as we have read in Matthew 4:11 and other occasions.  It is when one willfully surrenders to the desires of the flesh, becoming enticed by them, that sin is born, resulting in spiritual death.  (James 4:1-14-15).

In Matthew 4:2 we learn that Jesus was hungry after He had fasted for forty days.
"And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry."

Some believe that a fast of that magnitude is impossible without divine help.  What they don't acknowledge is that in modern times men have accomplished this (even when there is only water).  In the Bible we read of two other men who fasted for forty days.  They are Moses and Elijah.  Isn't it interesting that both appeared talking to Jesus at His transfiguration?  (Matt. 17:3; Exo. 34:28; I Kings 19:8).  Undoubtedly, those who share in Christ's suffering shall also be glorified with Him! (Romans 8:17).

From a physiological point of view when one fasts for an extended period of time, one's body does not yet need food even though our stomachs start growling.  This "growling" sound is merely the emptying of one's stomach.  Next, the body begins to nourish itself by consuming deposits of fatty tissue.  Of course, if one fasts for a longer period of time, all of the fatty tissues start to become exhausted and eventually the body begins to feed on muscle tissue.  It is then at this point that the body starts to experience real hunger pains as the body consumes itself, literally.  Jesus had definitely entered this stage at the end of His forty days fast.  His fleshly body was intensely yearning for food at this point. Indeed, Jesus was both weak and vulnerable, more than at any other time.  Can you doubt for a moment that Satan knew this was his great opportunity to tempt the Son of God?  Satan tried earnestly to cause our Lord to yield to his temptations.  He astutely and blatantly assaulted Jesus our Lord with all of his crafty schemes.  Yet in the end Jesus the Son of God resisted the tempter, submitting to God and caused Satan to flee.  (James 4:7).  This moves me deeply!  What a marvelous Savior we serve!

Undoubtedly, Satan tempts man through three main avenues:

  1. The lust of the flesh.
  2. The lust of the eyes and
  3. The pride of life.
Our Lord and Savior was tempted in all these ways, YET He never sinned!  He endured all of Satan's temptations, trusting and doing His Father's will.

Consider these three avenues by which the devil tempts man:

  • The Lust of the Flesh:   First Temptation 
"If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."  (Matt. 4:3)

Satan is the king of stumbling blocks that lead us into temptation if we are not standing firm in our faith with the full armor of God and His righteousness.  Consider how Satan first tempted Jesus in the wilderness.

  • He took advantage of our Lord's physical condition.  Jesus was hungry since he had fasted for forty days.  
  • Satan tempted Him to abuse His divine powers by turning stones into bread.   Satan is ASTUTE!  He put a stumbling block before the Son of God.  
"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.  And the devil said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.'   And Jesus answered him, 'It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.'"  (Luke 4:1-4).

His first attempt was to strike Jesus' faith using the word "if."  And although God the Father had declared earlier the Sonship of Jesus, Satan (the devil) boldly questioned the truthfulness of His Word, the same way he did Eve back in the garden (Gen. 3:1-5).  The tempter was shamelessly trying to say, "Surely, Jesus, if you really are God's Son, then You shouldn't have to suffer like this! Make Yourself some bread.  That isn't too difficult for You, is it?"  This same crafty serpent demanded that Jesus prove Himself.  Without a doubt, this was a subtle stab at Jesus' ego.  It was brazenly thrown out with the purpose of provoking Jesus to demonstrate or verify His identity.  How?  By providing for His physical needs through divine power.  Indeed, this must have been a strong temptation to Jesus since His body was yearning for food.  Take note that Jesus could have easily done this.

Furthermore, Satan's tempting was skilfully disguised, making his suggestion even more appealing to the flesh.  Such an act would have been a misuse of Jesus's divine powers which were never intended to provide for the desires of His flesh.  There is nowhere in the Bible where one can find anyone performing a miracle or sign to obtain food as a personal benefit.  Miracles and signs were always performed to confirm the efficacy and truthfulness of the Word (the message being delivered).  (John 20:31-31; Mark 16:20).

What was Jesus' weapon against Satan's temptation?  Merely by citing the Word of God.  Notice how He quoted the Scriptures:  "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"  (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:3).  The main point behind all this is that God's will is more important than food or any physical need.  If Jesus had really turned the stone into bread, it would have surely elevated the physical above the spiritual.  He would have surrendered and satisfied the desires of His flesh in a manner not authorized by God.  Jesus, the Christ, refused to yield to such enticement.  He instead trusted His Father.  The Father led the Son into the wilderness, just like He led the Israelites into the wilderness where there was no bread. The only difference is that they sinned when they murmured against Him.  (Ex. 16).  Christ could have committed the same sin had He not trusted His Father and had actually turned the stones into bread.  Jesus had no reason to not trust God.  Neither do we!!  We have abundant reasons to confidently trust in the Almighty God of heaven.  Why?  Simply, because He is the giver and sustainer of life.  He gave His Son to redeem us from our sins (the propitiation for man's sins).  (Acts 17:25; I John 2:2).  Man's primary job is to seek "first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."  (Matt. 6:33).  May we never elevate our physical needs above our spiritual ones.  If we do, we will eventually die spiritually rather than physically.

  • The Pride of Life:   Second Temptation
"Then the devil taketh him into the holy city; and he set him on the pinnacle of the temple."  (Matt. 4:5)

Satan tempted Jesus this time when he placed Him on the pinnacle of the Temple and challenged Him to throw Himself down proving that God would rescue Him before the eyes of everyone just as it was written in the Psalms.  Jesus again put Satan behind Him by quoting the Scripture which said, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test."

The devil tried to literally exercise control over Jesus' body when he set Him on the pinnacle of the temple.  Notice what he said to Jesus:

"If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone."  (Matt. 4:6)

Isn't it something that the devil tried to imitate  Jesus when he quoted the Scriptures found in Psalm 91:11-12?   However, the tempter misapplied the Scriptures and thus his conclusion was incorrect. Although he is full of Scriptures, it profits him nothing.  For his heart is empty of it!  The main target of Satan's first temptation was to prove his overconfidence and presumption and lack of confidence in God.  He seemed to be saying, "If you really are God's Son, prove it to me by throwing Yourself down.  After all, God won't let You get hurt; His angels will protect You."

Jesus understood the true meaning of Psalm 91:11-12.  He acknowledged that God would care for His faithful ones.  It did not imply that God would be forced to prove His love.  Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 used in Matthew 4:7.  This was not done to contradict God's Word (what Satan spoke) but rather to point out that what Satan had quoted as a promise was qualified by the precept.
"You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah."

In Exodus 17:1-7, the Israelites were thirsty and began accusing Moses of having brought them out of Egypt to die in the wilderness.  They demanded Moses to give them water to prove to them that God was indeed with them.  They blatantly tested God to prove to them that He was indeed in their presence.  In doing all this, they sinned.  Had the Father commanded Jesus to jump, He would have done so, but He didn't.  Jesus knew better and had no intention of putting Himself in such a dangerous position, hoping to obtain a loving deliverance.  If Jesus had cast Himself down, He would have demanded of the Father an unnecessary miracle in order to prove His Sonship.  He would have put God's love to a needless test.  Jesus would not surrender to this temptation of pride.

  • The Lust of the Eyes:   Third Temptation
 "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory."  (Matt. 4:8)
Satan spoke again saying, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me."  (Matt. 4:9).

Satan again tempted Jesus by enticing Him to reject His work of redemption for all humanity in exchange for the power and the glory of this world's kingdoms.  But our Lord and Savior Jesus put Satan behind Him saying,  “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”  (Luke 4:8).

I am sure Satan had hoped that Jesus' weakness of the flesh would have caused Him to succumb to his wiles. It is as if Satan was saying, "Just bow down and worship me, and everything Your eyes can see will be Yours!"  Surely, Satan had the power to fulfill God's promise otherwise he would have not tempted Jesus this way.  Satan was shamelessly demanding the Son of God to hand over His loyalty to God to him.  He desired Christ to make him, the devil, His god in return for all the kingdoms of the world.  (John 12:31).

What would have happened if our Lord and Savior had surrendered to Satan, rejecting the work our God had given Him to finish in order that through Him all humanity might have redemption? It would have meant no less than the loss for all mankind of the only opportunity and hope of redemption.  Instead, Jesus our Lord surrendered to His Father in heaven through obedience.  Jesus was determined to bring to fruition the work His Father had commanded Him to do.  He had purposed in His heart to finish that work.  Jesus remained faithful to His work and His Father in spite of Satan's many stumbling blocks.  "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  (Luke 19:10).

Despite all that the tempter offered to our Lord, He remained faithful to God's will.  Our Lord Jesus Christ did not surrender to Satan, not even for all the riches of the world (Matt. 16:26).  Instead, Jesus rebuked Satan by paraphrasing Deuteronomy 10:20.  "Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God; him shalt thou serve."   (Matt. 4:10).  By serving God, Jesus received all authority in heaven and earth instead of what Satan could have offered Him.  (Matt. 28:18).  Let us always be faithful to God rather than to Satan lest we perish.  (Romans 6:23).
"Then the devil leaveth him; and behold, angels came and ministered unto him."  (Matt. 4:11)
Notice the order here:  first, there is suffering, and then there is comfort.  This applies to us today the same way.  It is indeed a battle to fight against the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, but we must do it if we want to save our souls and abide with God forever.  (1 John 2:15-17). Let us also not grow "weary" in doing good.   (Gal. 6:9).  Remember that we shall enter His "rest" later.  (Heb. 4:1-10).

Luke adds more regarding the tempting of Jesus:

"And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season."  (Luke 4:13)

As we can see, Satan ultimately failed to thwart Jesus' mission in putting stumbling blocks in His way. His mission was the redemption of mankind.

"For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost."  (Luke 4:13).

The phrase, "he departed from him for a season," implies that Satan did not intend to end his efforts of putting many stumbling blocks in Jesus' way.  Satan earnestly wanted to ruin God's eternal plan of redemption.  Of course, the tempter would return and persist in all his wicked ways at a more convenient time.  This is exactly what he does to God's faithful ones.  He takes advantage of our weaknesses (physical or spiritual) and then starts attacking us in order to destroy us.  He is crafty and never sits still.  So, let us follow our Lord's example of resisting Him so that he will flee from us.  He flees from us when we are armed entirely with the Sword of the Spirit (Word of God).  We must also love righteousness and hate all evil (lawlessness).  Let us take heed!  Jesus has left us an abundance of weapons of warfare in order to defeat him.


CONCLUSION

It is indisputably true that Satan put many stumbling blocks in Christ's way to destroy God's eternal plan of redemption for mankind.  In Matthew 16, our Lord Jesus predicted His sufferings at the hands of the priests and scribes as well as His death on the cross and His resurrection.  Peter rebuked Him saying "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."   Jesus rebuked Peter in the same way that He had rebuked Satan in the wilderness at the beginning of His ministry.  Jesus simply said, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s."   (Matthew 16:23).

Satan is our  "adversary."   He used Peter to put a stumbling block before the Lord.  Peter was doing the same thing that Satan did when he tempted Jesus to reject the work that His Father had given Him to finish.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, this temptation became even more intense.  There, Jesus as the man felt deeply grieved and distressed.  He prayed fervently to the Father saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

The lesson for us is that we must treat Satan the same way that Jesus did as if to say "get behind me," when he attempts to enter our heart, as he did Judas Iscariot (John 13:26-27) How do we do this?  Simply by not surrendering to him.  We must do the will of God.  By fighting him off with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."  (Eph. 6:17).  If Jesus our Lord could overcome temptation without any supernatural help from the Spirit, surely we Christians can do so today.  We must treasure the Word of God in our hearts, as did Jesus so that we might reject temptation and overcome sin.

Satan is our persecutor and accuser before our God.  Remember when he asked permission to test Job taking all that he possessed, even his family.  He afflicted Job miserably.  He urged Job to curse God.

"Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.  And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes."  (Job 2:7).

Although our Lord Jesus had the Spirit without measure (John 3:34), He did not receive any direct or supernatural strength from the Holy Spirit to resist Satan's temptations.  Rather, He always drew His strength from the Word of God, saying:  "It is written."  (Matt. 4:4,7,10).   He has left us a perfect example by the way He rejected temptation.  His weapon of defense against Satan was "the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  (Eph. 6:17)  It means that we Christians can as well.

In our days, evil is often abstract.  But let me tell you that evil is real, and so is Satan. We continually find ourselves on the battlefield of our souls and all the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."  (Ephesians 6:12).  

We must fight tooth and nail!  We cannot afford to allow Satan to get his way.  This is what he wants!  Unfortunately, Satan sometimes uses our own brethren as weapons of evil warfare, our loved ones, our earthly treasures, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and everything that is against doing the will of God.  The only way to crush him and defeat him is by loving the TRUTH and ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Let us heed Peter's words of warning.  He had to learn the hard way how to defeat Satan.  Let these words sink into our hearts.  
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  (I Peter 5:8).

It is imperative that we come to our senses and recognize who Satan really IS.  He is:
  • Our adversary.
  • Our enemy.
  • Our accuser.
  • The evil one.
  • The biggest liar.
  • The serpent and
  • The dragon.  
Let us be sober because he and his demonic hosts really do exist.  He is astute and deceitful.  His sole purpose is to harm us by making us lose our souls eternally.  He will destroy us if we allow him any opportunity.  He has many evil tactics!  He attacks unmercifully with fiery darts.  He delights in afflicting us with thorns in the flesh.  But we must:

  • Attack him with the sword of the Spirit.
  • Arm ourselves with the whole armor of God so that we may be able to stand firm against all of his wicked ways. 
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints."   (Ephesians 6:10-19).

 Remember always that Satan did not hesitate to tempt the very Son of God by putting stumbling blocks in His path.

May we treasure the Word of God in our heart so that we might not sin against our God.  May we always strive to do God's will and keep the stumbling blocks behind us.  May we remain faithful, the way Jesus did despite Satan's many stumbling blocks.  May we follow Jesus' example so that Satan will flee from us.  May we put on the whole armor of God so that we may stand firm.


Luci