The devil often tempts us at our weakest point. He will use our emotions when we are vulnerable. When he sees that we are tired, hungry, sad, angry, or afraid, he will strategically plan his attack. However, the devil is not creative. He will use the same tactics, plots or schemes over and over again.
The Lord is the creator of all things and by His power and authority He has all the ability to create, form, shape, mold, and design according to His plan and purpose for our lives.
In the Wilderness
When Jesus was fasting in the wilderness, the devil tempted Him “Five” times. The devil came to Him when He was weak and hungry. It’s often when we lack a physical or emotional need that the devil tempts us. Our strongest defense is to reflect on the reaction of Jesus in the wilderness. He used the Word of God to confront the attack of Satan. He spoke with authority every time Satan tried to persuade Him.
In the passage in Matt 4:7-9, it states, “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God. Again, the devil takes Him up to an exceedingly high mountain and showery Him all Kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them and he says to thee, all these things will I give to thee if thou will fall down and worship me.
Satan will distort or magnify a specific target to make his proposal so appealing so you will fall into the snare or trap of his devices.
We must stay on guard and be mindful at all times because we will be constantly tested. As the passage states in Matt 26:41 “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” So, we must constantly build up our spiritual nature to combat the attacks of the enemy.
The devil is a con artist. He will manipulate or persuade his target to get his way. When you are aware of his plans or schemes, you’re able to confront the attack by speaking the scriptures over your situation to dismantle every dart the enemy throws your way.
When you’re aware of the temptation, you may have to physically remove yourself from the situation. If you find yourself in a constant battle with the flesh, having self-control of your thoughts and your desires, you trick yourself into thinking that you will defeat the enemy in your own strength. However, we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit and the Blood of Jesus to walk in victory and to overcome the slick moves of the devil.
Be sober and viligent; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walking about seeking whom he may devour. 1Peter 5:8
In the Garden of Eden
The devil used sly, cunning tactics to convince Eve to eat from the Tree of Life. In the Book of Genesis, the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.
“Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
In both cases, the devil promised that they would be more like God with either power or wisdom. The devil twisted his words to convince Eve otherwise and enticed her to disobey. Let your eyes be open to the sneak attacks of the enemy.
In the Womb of Infertility
Sometimes, the Lord uses a crises to teach us about patience, obedience, belief, faith and trust. In the story of Abraham and Sarah, enticement was also used to lure her husband.
By faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Heb 11:17
Abraham, to produce a child from Hagar. This was out of compromise of faith and out of the will of God for their lives. When you’re bound to fleshy desires and human passions, it will cause disastrous results. When you allow your emotions to override the divine will of God, it will cause division or conflict in your body, mind or spirit.
In the Heat of the Moment
David lusted over a beautiful woman after watching her bath while he walked on the roof of the king’s house. He requested for the woman named Bathsheba who was wife of Uriah, and slept with her. She became pregnant. Due to his sin of adultery, David plotted to murder Uriah by ordering him to the frontlines of war to deliberately kill him to hide his affair.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corth 10:13
In the Fiery Furnace
Another attempt of temptation was when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego worshipped only the one true God. They lived amongst a city where there was idol worship. They refused to bow down to any false idol.They were subject to great peer pressure from their community and suffered great temptation to follow the tradition ordered by King Nebachadnezzar to worship a golden statue symbolized of his power and glory. Unfortunately, they were thrown into a fiery furnace. The King even turned the heat up seven times hotter but they weren’t burned.
King Nebuchadnezzar was shocked when he saw four men walking amongst the flames. He immediately called the guards to release them from the furnace.
Through the deliverance, he granted them freedom to worship as they desired and was given a royal promotion in honor,
In the Test of Faith
In the story of Job, the devil requested authorization from the Lord to test the faithfulness of Job. Job was harshly tested and faced many temptations, sickness, and loss, however Job never lost his faith and received complete restoration of all that was lost.
In the Belly of a Whale
Jonah was given a specific assignment to go to Nineveh to address the sin in the land. It was a city full of evil and wickedness. Instead, Jonah ran from his assignment of the Lord. He jumped on a boat and sailed the opposite direction to a place called Tarshish.
The Lord created a massive storm upon the waters and the men threw Jonah overboard because they felt he caused the turbulence. After being thrown overboard, the storm suddenly stopped. The Lord sent a large whale to swallow Jonah.The Lord was shielding and protecting him from drowning and from the other animals in the ocean.
Jonah repented, prayed and praised God. The Lord answered his prayer by allowing the whale to throw him up which was near the city of Nineveh. Jonah preached in the city and warned them to repent. The people listened in obedience despite the corruption and chaos and the Lord had mercy on them.
Unfortunately, Jonah struggled with his heart condition and became bitter because he felt the people didn’t deserve God’s grace and mercy however the Lord was more concerned about the hearts of the people and restoring the land. Jonah was disciplined due to his disposition.
Even the people of Israel, suffered great temptations. They had several cases of doubt, fear and unbelief on their journey to the promised land. They fell into temptation when Moses did not return from Mount Sinai when they expected. They created a golden calf to worship and challenged Moses with every decision or move he made along the way.
So he called the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not.” Exodus 17:7
These are great examples of how to avoid temptation. Not all temptation is related to fornication or promiscuity. the devil comes in many ways to attack us at our weakest points. We must understand the tactics, schemes and devices to override the plans he uses.
Here are seven ways to overcome temptation.
1. Speak the Word of God in the area of attack
2. Be obedient to God’s voice
3. Learn how to be patient and wait on God
4. Run from temptation
5. Stand strong in faith and your convictions
6. Walk in faith no matter the circumstances or situation
7. Listen to the Lord’s instructions and face opposition with courage and boldness
We will not always be perfect but we must turn away from temptation at all cost. We have a loving Father who desires our whole heart. He is a forgiving Father that supplies us with His grace and mercy.
Lord, help us to walk with you through the valley of temptation. Strengthen our heart and mind to focus and lean on you at all times. Continue the new work in us by transforming us to be molded and shaped in the potter’s hands, so we can be representatives for your Kingdom to bring glory to your name. In Jesus name, Amen.
Additional Bible References:
I Peter 5-8
2 Sam 22:2-3
2 Sam 22:7, 17, 31
Dan 3:25, 28