“… and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The Word of God is an essential weapon in our battle with the enemy, and it is a weapon we must use with skill. The three temptations that the devil tried to use against Jesus in the wilderness are the same three temptations that the enemy throws at us.
Today we consider the final two temptations.
The temptation to put God to the test
Sometimes people try to put God to the test because they doubt God’s identity, and they doubt their own identity in relationship to him. The seeds of that doubt are planted by the enemy. He does not want us to know and trust God. He does not want us to know who we are in Christ.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3.5)
Don’t test God, trust God. When you stand strong in the truth of who God is and who you are in Christ, the enemy is defeated.
The temptation to pursue and possess the things of the world
A great many people are engaged in the headlong pursuit of possessions, position, popularity, power, and they think (wrongly) that those things will make them happy and fulfilled. But God did not create us to be fulfilled by those things. He created us to be fulfilled by him, and him alone.
God is not opposed to us having possessions, position, power, etc. He simply doesn’t want those things to have us. God alone is our Lord, and everything we have should be subordinated to him.
Whatever possessions you own should be subordinated to the lordship of Christ in your life. Whatever position you have been given at work, whatever power you have been granted, whatever popularity you enjoy … all should be subordinated to the lordship of Christ and used for his kingdom and glory.
Jesus said it in the Sermon on the Mount. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Mt. 16.19-20)
The question is: Do you own your possessions, or do your possessions own you?
The devil will attack you with temptations. He will seek to deceive and disrupt you. Be strong. Stand firm. Know God’s word and wield it with confidence and skill to defeat the enemy.