Guest Blogger: Chip Dean
We need to know our enemy. I believe that summer is a heightened season for temptation. We must guard our flesh, eyes, and pride with more time at the pool, vacation, and parties. We need to be on guard because sin is not just the “do nots” on the naughty list. Instead, sin is very personal to both Satan and Jesus. Because of this, we must Know Our Enemy, Know His Strategy, Know Our Savior, and Know Ourselves.
Know Your Enemy
2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “So that we would not be outwitted by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs.” Wouldn’t it be nice to not feel outwitted by the evil one? God says that we aren’t “ignorant of his designs.” This means our excuses like, “You got me again, Satan,” don’t cut it with the Creator. “The devil made me do it” doesn’t fly with the Most High! God has plainly given us both a knowledge of our enemy and our enemy’s strategy in His Word.
1 John 2:15 is where we see God revealing clearly and plainly Satan’s strategy for temptation and sin. “For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.” God has revealed Satan’s secret strategy for temptation and sin that he’s used from the very beginning until now.
The Desires of the Flesh // Sins of Pleasures // I want to “feel” that.
The Desires of the Eyes // Sins of Treasures // I want to “have” that.
The Pride of Life // Sins of Pride // I want to “be” that.
Know His Strategy
Satan came to earth as a serpent (Genesis 3:1-5), and deceived Eve by twisting God’s Word. Satan doesn’t just tempt us to sin, but he often attempts to tempt us with sin by twisting God’s Word. He wants us to doubt. He wants to cause confusion. He wants us to lack confidence. We must know God’s Word deeply. Not because I’m a Pastor but because I’m a sinner, I have to wake up at 5am every morning in order to get in God’s Word so that God’s Word gets into me.
Then in Genesis 3:6, we see the very same, ancient strategy that Satan first used on Eve that he continues to use today. “Eve saw that the tree was good for food [Pleasures], and that it was a delight to the eyes [Treasures], and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise [Pride].” She bit the bait and then gave some to her husband who was with her. Adam stood and watched the whole thing when he should have stood up for God, spoken up to his wife, and rose up in leadership!
Know Your Savior
In Luke 4:1-13, Satan tries the exact same strategy for temptation that he used on Eve and that God gave us in 1 John 2:15. Eve was tempted in a garden of paradise while Jesus was tempted in a barren wilderness. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to complete a 40 day fast (Luke 4:1). Jesus was hungry and physically weak, but His fasting and praying made Him spiritually strong! Watch this pattern of temptation Satan tried on Jesus that he used on Eve.
Desires of the Flesh: Pleasures // Eve: “good for food” // Jesus: “bread” (Luke 4:3)
Desires of the Eyes: Treasures // Eve: “delight to the eyes” // Jesus: “kingdoms” (Luke 4:5-7)
Pride of Life: Pride // Eve: “desired to make one wise” // Jesus “throw Yourself down” (Luke 4:9-11)
The first two temptations Jesus went through are self-explanatory. The third needs explanation. Satan was tempting Jesus to throw Himself off the temple for a 300 foot drop where everyone would be watching so they could see angels rescue Him and prove He truly is the Son of God. Satan was tempting Jesus to prove who He is apart from the cross and resurrection.
Just like his temptation with Eve, notice how Satan uses Scripture to attempt to tempt Jesus. When Eve didn’t know God’s Word, Jesus quoted God’s Word, word for word. We do not only need to know our enemy’s strategy, but we also need to know our Savior’s strategy: the sword of the Spirit!
Which temptation has Satan been throwing at you lately? Pleasures, Treasures, or Pride?
Which temptation of Satan have you been falling for most through your life?
If you had to order Satan’s temptations in rank of which ones are more tempting for you, how would you order them?
Through God’s Word, we fight temptation in two ways: resistance and obedience.
Resistance is saying no, and there’s no temptation we cannot say no to by the power of Jesus!
Obedience is saying yes. We do not need to only resist, but we need to obey.
Pleasure: Obey God by finding greater pleasures and joys in Jesus alone.
Treasure: Obey God by finding greater treasures through being generous like Jesus.
Pride: Obey God by finding greater identity in Jesus by humbling yourself.
When we both resist and obey, we show that we know our enemy, we know his strategy, we know our Savior, and we know ourselves.