Monday, October 11, 2010

Beware of the Devil’s Lies

The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" -Matthew 4:3, 4 

Many years ago I heard a parable about a man who was walking up a steep mountain trail one day when he came upon a poisonous snake.  The snake asked the man if he would be willing to carry him to the top of the hill since the climb was so steep.  “If I pick you up you will bite me for sure.”  the man said.  “Oh no, I will not,” the snake answered.  “In exchange for your kindness in carrying me up the hill I promise I will not bite you.”  This seemed reasonable to the man, so he picked up the snake and they started up the trail.  As they reached the top the man said, “Well, here we are.”  And he sat the snake on the ground.  But just as he did so the snake turned and bit him, injecting him with poisonous venom.  “You promised you wouldn’t bite me!” the man cried.  The snake then replied, “You knew I was a poisonous snake when you picked me up.  This is what snakes do.  You should never have believed me!”  

The Scripture shows us how that Jesus, when He was temped, did not fall for the lies of the devil, but instead resisted the temptations being offered.  The devil has a way of making that which we should resist look extremely attractive, and he will hit us during our weakest moments.  This is what he did to Jesus while the Lord was fasting and praying in the wilderness for 40 days.  Jesus had made a commitment to fast and pray during this time and nothing was going to deter him.  The devil tried to get Jesus to abuse His power by turning stones into bread.  Jesus countered this temptation by standing decisively upon the Word of God.  In so doing, the Lord resisted temptation and stood firm.   

We do well to follow Jesus’ example.  Prayer and the Word of God are the most powerful tools available to us for resisting the lies and temptations of the evil one.  The devil will distort the truth, twist the facts, and tell outright lies in an effort to deceive us.  Never believe him under any circumstances.  For it is as Jesus said, when the devil is lying he is speaking his native language (John 8:44).  How can you tell when the devil is lying?  That’s easy; his lips are moving.  He can sound convincing and he can make what goes against God’s Word look most appealing.  However, in the end we will get bitten and will suffer the consequences.

Our calling in Jesus Christ is to live lives that bring honor to God.  We do not have to surrender in defeat, but rather we can rise up in Christ’s power and move forward in victory.  No doubt today there are some temptations waiting.  Trust the Lord and rely upon His strength.  Victory will then follow.

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