Luke and The Lost
“The devil made me do it” was a phrase made popular by a comedian years ago. The comedian would tell stories of his childhood and blame all his mistakes on the devil. Do you believe the devil (satan) is still working on us? Do you believe in demon spirits? Consider it.
George Barna surveyed the American church in the early 2000’s. The results were that most believers do not believe there is a devil. Most believe he is a myth. Let’s ask Jesus what HE thinks…
Luke 4, The Message
Tested by the Devil
4 1-2 Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.
3 The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: “Since you’re God’s Son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to really live.”
5-7 For the second test he led him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the Devil said, “They’re yours in all their splendor to serve your pleasure. I’m in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. Worship me and they’re yours, the whole works.”
8 Jesus refused, again backing his refusal with Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”
9-11 For the third test the Devil took him to Jerusalem and put him on top of the Temple. He said, “If you are God’s Son, jump. It’s written, isn’t it, that ‘he has placed you in the care of angels to protect you; they will catch you; you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone’?”
12 “Yes,” said Jesus, “and it’s also written, ‘Don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.’”
13 That completed the testing. The Devil retreated temporarily, lying in wait for another opportunity.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY, THE DEVIL! To know your enemy is to defeat him.
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert. In his weakness from fasting and praying, the devil came to prey on this weakness, to bring down the Son of God in human form through a series of tests. Jesus knew this enemy well. He was a fallen angel, a liar, the one who wanted to be God and was thrown down from heaven.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Peter knew his enemy well. He was tested by him often.
Is the devil working on us today? YES!
What will help us escape and resist our greatest enemy?
1. Know there IS a devil. “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44b
2. The devil works through our sin. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert…your enemy the devil…is looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:5b-7
“In your anger do not sin; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 Our sins of pride, grudgeholding, selfish acts, and lack of self control are satan’s handrails and footholds to step in and hold on to us like a leach.
3. Eliminate all footholds of sin. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
What are the “footholds” that we must resist?
1. PRIDE – “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5b Pride blocks us from His grace.
“Pride goes before destruction.” Proverbs 16:18a
2. ANXIETY – “Cast ALL your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 Anxiety is a deep, consistent fear that God is not in control. This fear is a sin. The devil plays on our anxiety consistently because this is our greatest weakness. Cast, in this place in scripture means to drop it, let it go. We must repent of the sin of thinking we know best by worrying that God doesn’t.
“I will be their God and they will be my children. But the COWARDLY, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” Revelation 21:7b-8
YES, worrying is sin, it’s “cowardly”, and a form of pride that blocks us from God’s grace. It weakens His power in us to resist the devil!
Jesus gave us great examples of resisting the devil by quoting God’s Word. We have been given many more scriptures that will help us block the devil’s schemes to bring us down.
Let me ask the question again…Is the devil real? YES! But the devil cannot make us do what we don’t want to do. It’s up to us to resist. Let’s load our arsenal with God’s Word. Pray in the Name of Jesus Christ…this fallen angel hates that. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 ESV
“Jesus returned to Galilee POWERFUL in the Spirit. News that he was back spread through the countryside. He taught in their meeting places to everyone’s acclaim and pleasure.” Luke 4, The Message
When we resist the devil, we receive power and strength to resist him again as we join God in His work.
What do we need to let go of today?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Give us your power and strength to resist the schemes of the devil even today. In the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.