Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
(Matthew 4:11 ESV)
We just completed reading the three attempts by Satan to tempt Jesus into sin. Jesus resisted because He was committed to doing things God’s way and on God’s timetable. Jesus resisted Satan, leaving the devil with no choice but leave Him. This is exactly what God tells us to do [James 4:7]. We can’t defeat Satan. We can only resist him [Ephesians 6:11].
The word for “devil” in the original Greek is διαβολοσ (pronounced: dee-ab’-ol-os) which means “slanderer”. Satan uses lies in an effort to get us to doubt God. This is exactly the tactic he used with Adam & Eve and is the tactic he still uses [Genesis 3:1-5]. It all comes down to whether we trust what God says or if we trust what Satan says. We can’t trust both. Our actions will demonstrate where we’ve placed our trust at any given moment.
Much like electricity flows in the direction of least resistance, we often choose our paths in life based on what seems easiest. But while sin may seem like the best choice at first, it comes with consequences as Adam & Eve and the whole human race have discovered.
Notice that being tempted to sin is not sin. Jesus was tempted to sin yet He remained perfect [Hebrews 4:15]. Temptations will come. That is a promise from God. But He also promises that we never have to give in to temptation. There is always an escape [1 Corinthians 10:13]. That escape is Christ Himself who proved His superiority over Satan by not giving in. We can endure if we keep our eyes on Him and the glory that awaits us in heaven because of his sacrifices.
Jesus knows exactly what we go through in this life. He understands the dilemmas to satisfy self that we face. But since He has been put through the same tests and passed, He can help us [Hebrews 2:18]. Someone who has not overcome their alcoholism can’t help anyone else overcome it. But someone who has overcome an addiction or behavioral pattern can help others who are facing the same challenge.
This is the hope we have in Christ. He was God but He knows exactly what it is like to be human. He can relate to everything we go through. Additionally, what He offers is better than what Satan offers. We just have to hold fast to His promises as given in the Bible.
The problem is Satan’s “rewards” (for lack of a better term) are right-here and right-now. Rather than mull them over we need to recognize them for what they are – lies. Otherwise temptation gives in to desire which leads to sin [James 1:13-15].
This life isn’t easy. God knows this. When His children go through tough times He will send angels to minister to us. We aren’t told exactly what the angels did for Jesus. But I’m sure that having angels take care of us is far more beneficial than anything Satan has to offer.
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