One of the most mystical and intriguing passages of the Bible is when Jesus meets Satan in the desert. There are some major teaching points in this encounter found in Matthew 4:1-11.
Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.”
Satan wants us to doubt God’s ability to provide, so we’ll depend on ourselves, others, the government—anything but God. He wants us to take matters in our own hands, just like in the Garden—to take control of our lives and not submit to God.
Jesus’ answer: ‘No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.’
Principle: We are needy; God is our Source for provision.
“If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say: ‘God will give his angels orders about you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won’t hurt your feet on the stones.’”
The only reason Jesus would have jumped is to prove that God would protect Him, which would indicate a lack of faith and the presence of doubt that God would be there.
Jesus’ answer: “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’”
Principle: We are weak and vulnerable; God is our Source for protection.
The devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.”
The enemy wants us to thirst for power—control of our world—as he does. And once power is received, then the greed for more kicks in. And the vicious cycle begins, moving us further and further from God.
Jesus’ answer: “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”
Principle: We are incapable of controlling our own destiny; God is our Source of power for life.
Are you being tempted to doubt God’s provision?
Are you being tempted to doubt God’s protection?
Are you being tempted to take control and seek power?
Ironically, the more we feel an abundance of provision and protection, the greater the temptation to trust in our own power. Living with the understanding that God is our Source in all these areas brings true full and abundant life.