The human mind seems to be the enemy’s main target. Did you know that a random ungodly thought isn’t sin?
It’s a temptation.
What you do with that thought is what matters. If you entertain it or act on it, then it becomes a sin.
Did you know that a random feeling of hatred, anger or any negative emotion isn’t sin?
Again, it’s a temptation that will become sin if we don’t process it and then handle it appropriately.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
This is one of my favorite verses. To live it out brings peace of mind.
If we take captive those random thoughts that disrupt our peace it will transform our minds.
All that to say: The devil will try to make himself the king of your thoughts and one his favorite areas to attack is your identity.
As I’ve studied identity, I realized that Jesus’ identity too, was brought into question by the devil.
That is so crazy to me.
Matthew 4 tells us the story:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a](B) by the devil.(C) 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights,(D) he was hungry. 3 The tempter(E) came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God,(F) tell these stones to become bread.”
Here’s some points that I found fascinating.
Jesus was led into the wilderness by THE SPIRIT. In other words when we follow the Holy Spirit he will lead us through the wilderness because (in my opinion) it is in the wilderness that faith is built.
The devil attacked after Jesus fasted. It is those times when we intentionally pursue the heart of the Father that the devil is most interested in our lives. A mediocre christian life is not a threat to him. It is a life that pursues Jesus, a life that is willing to follow God to the ends of the earth that will change the world. And that, is what the devil fears the most.
The devil attacked when he was hungry. There’s a few takeaways here… Hunger, more or less, weakens us physically, which says the devil sees a weakened physical state as an opportunity to attack. Hunger is also a distraction. You know how the hungrier you get the more your focus shifts from your task to your next meal? Being distracted by whatever it may be, is an opportunity for attack.
The devil attacked Jesus’ identity. If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Can’t you just feel the challenge there? If you are the son of God… A challenge to do, say or act a certain way to prove that our identity as a son or daughter of God is legit.
As I’ve been thinking about this I’ve realized that when the devil attacks, it is often an attack on our identity because when we are fully confident in our identity as a son or daughter of not only a King but the KING OF KINGS, we will be unstoppable. Being a child of a King happens through birth (or in this case, by being born again.) It is not something we can accomplish by our own merit.
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
When Jesus was tempted his response was to turn to scripture. I love that. I believe scripture is a powerful tool against temptation. Name your greatest temptation, find a verse that tells you why giving in to this temptation isn’t worth it, then when you feel tempted remind yourself of your verse.
This, in my opinion, is an example, of a temptation to abuse the grace of God… “If you are the Son of God,”(I) he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written…
Translation: Go do something stupid the Bible says you’re covered.
Another thing to note is the way the devil starts quotting scripture. If someone brings scripture into a situation, we automatically start backing down because to argue with scripture is to argue with God, right?
First of all, arguing scripture will get you nowhere so my suggestion is to simply walk away when this happens, BUT, it’s also important to recognize that devil often uses scripture to silence you.
How do you know if it’s from God or the devil?
If it’s from God, it will bring conviction (a feeling of ‘I was wrong, let’s fix this.’) If it’s from the devil it will bring condemnation ( a feeling of ‘oh my goodness, I was an idiot!’)
Scripture from God is used in the correct context, while the devil will twist it to fit his cause, which you can see from the above verse.
Last but not least, here too, he clearly questioned Jesus’ identity, ‘If you are the Son of God…’
Again Jesus simply brings his own verse to the battle, a verse that clearly points out how the devil manipulated the scripture he had used. Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
In conclusion: if you’re a born again Christian the devil will question and attempt to make you doubt your identity as a child of the King, but as you see here, he did it to Jesus too.
On another note… I started this blog a month or maybe even two months ago. Most of my blogs just kinda fall together but then there’s some that don’t make sense even to myself so I never finish them… and this one… I think it might fall under the ‘ not make sense’ category, but I mentioned it to Lillian (you know who you are.😁) and she encouraged me to finish it so… here we are! I typed, retyped and then typed again! I deleted entire paragraphs and replaced them with something completely different but eventually I managed to finish it.😅
My point is, this is probably my most time consuming blog ever and I really, really hope it makes sense!!🙃