“Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ””
Matthew 4:3-4 NKJV
“Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ””
Matthew 4:5-7 NKJV
“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ””
Matthew 4:8-10 NKJV
Of old temptations and dirty tricks
The devil is a like an old, crusty American football coach, a master of few plays, but who uses those plays to maximum effectiveness to accomplish his evil goals.
In his evil work, he uses lies, obfuscation, and dirty tricks to confuse those who are seeking to live righteously. From the garden of God until now, he is actively at work, deceiving those whose eyes are not squarely on the Lord.
This morning I read of Joseph resisting the temptation posed by Potiphar’s wife. In her effort to pull off a domestic power play, she sought to implore the young, handsome Joseph to lie with her. Seeking to honor God, he turned from sin, and ultimately fled. He did not want to sin against his Lord.
“And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?””
Genesis 39:7-9 NKJV
The story took me forward to the temptation of our Savior Jesus in chapter four of Matthew in the wilderness. The devil deployed his old plays from the garden, used effectively up until now, seeking to derail the plan of God.
But he failed.
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
I John 2:16 NKJV
These are the devil’s plays, employed daily against the children of God.
He is on the prowl, looking for openings, sending out his minions to watch us, that we let down are guard. Sometimes he uses people to do his bidding, sometimes even fleshly Christians.
We are entering a time when those against God will be pressing harder and harder to bring about stumbling to those who believe. Some will come in the likeness of sheep, but inside are ravenous wolves, bent on eating mutton.
Thanks be to God there are ways that we can identify them, for all that they do is governed by the flesh, for such is oft exposed regardless of the veneer of holiness displayed.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us be wary of the old temptations and dirty tricks of the devil, for he knows that his time is short. Let us be diligent in seeking after the Lord’s word, for in it we have an answer to every temptation. Our Lord Jesus answered everything the devil through at Him with the sword of God. It was a demonstration of putting on the full armor of God in the heat of battle.
Though He is now with the Father, we are not abandoned, for He has left us His word and the Helper, the Holy Spirit. Let us enter these coming times, having put on that full set of armor.
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”
Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV
The Lord has given us an effective defense against the offense of the devil.
Let us also keep ion mind the mission the Lord has given us, for we are on mission to lead people to salvation in Jesus Christ. Some of those the Lord desires to save are the very ones the devil may be sending against us as missiles of flesh and blood. Let us remember:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
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3 thoughts on “Of old temptations and dirty tricks”
Sad, but true. May God keep us safe♥️
I am rejoicing in today, my friend. Thank you so much for the challenging reminder.