To Resist the Devil and Fight like Jesus: Speak the Word
- In Part 1 we covered the basics of knowing you have an enemy, being on guard, and knowing the enemy’s tactics.
- Then, in Part 2, we engaged in the battle in humility forgiving, casting down thoughts, confessing the Word, and praising the Lord.
- Finally, in Part 3, our focus turns to Jesus and his handling of the attacks of the enemy while fasting in the wilderness. Let’s follow our Lord in his example of how to resist the devil so he will flee.
Attack 1: Satisfy Your Fleshly Desires
The First Temptation
The devil’s first attack against Christ was to tempt Jesus to satisfy his flesh. The attack came to his point of weakness at the time: his hunger. Jesus had fasted for 40 days. The temptation was to use his divine power to satisfy his human need. If Jesus had chosen the easy way out of suffering in the wilderness, he would have been tempted to do the same in the garden of Gethsemane. Giving in to this temptation would have threatened his mission to die on the cross as the Savior of the world. Additionally, it would have undermined his obedience to God’s will (the Spirit led him into the wilderness and the Spirit would meet Jesus’ needs).
Moreover, he was tempted to respond to the accusation that he is not the Son of God. The thinking goes like this: If he was unwilling to turn the stones to bread, then surely he wasn’t the Son of God. Capitulating would have undermined his exclusive obedience to God’s will.
Jesus quoted the Scripture from Deuteronomy 8:3 stating, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” He spoke the Word OUT LOUD to defeat the enemy and counter the temptation. The Scripture restored focus on his ultimate priority: to do the will of the Father.
Attack 2: Put God to the Test
The Second Temptation
The devil’s second attack against Christ was to tempt Jesus to test God. Surprisingly, the devil brazenly quoted two Scriptures to Jesus in order to tempt Jesus to force God to act. It was again a temptation to respond to the accusation that he is not the Son of God. The attack was aimed at his identity and used Scripture to attempt to deceive Jesus into proving his sonship by testing the Father.
Jesus quoted the Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:16 stating, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” He spoke the Word OUT LOUD to defeat the enemy and counter the temptation. The action of throwing himself down would force the Father’s hand which would turn their relationship on its head. Jesus had come to do God’s will not to force God to do his will. It would be wrong to use God’s protection to prove that he was the Son of God.
Attack 3: Take a Shortcut to Victory
The Third Temptation
Now the devil removed the veiled attempts at deception. He takes Jesus to a high mountain so they can see the kingdoms of the world. In a climactic way, the devil offers the kingdoms of the world if Jesus will but worship him. This audacious request to worship the devil came with a very tempting shortcut for Jesus. Skip going the cross and all that pain – just worship me and I will give you the kingdoms of the world!
Jesus commanded Satan to leave and quoted Deuteronomy a third time: “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” He spoke the Word OUT LOUD to defeat the enemy and counter the temptation. Only God is worthy of our worship. There are no shortcuts to the will of God.
Summary: Resist the Devil using the Word of God
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was tempted in every way as we are and yet he did not sin. Jesus spoke the Word of God to counter the attacks of the enemy – even when the attack contained Scripture. To resist the devil requires us to know God’s word and to use God’s word to protect our lives. Therefore, in order to fight like Jesus, we must verbally combat the lies of the enemy by speaking out the truth of God’s word. Resist the Devil – Speak God’s Word!