When Satan came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness he waited for the optimal moment to strike. He patiently waited until Jesus was tired and hungry after 40 days of fasting to make his infamous move to tempt Jesus. I encourage you to meditate on this passage (Mathew 4 and Luke 4) because it has several lessons to offer us the believer. Today I want to cover two, the when’s and how’s that Satan prefers to attack, and how we can use this information to live victoriously!
Satan is a very manipulative and crafty being. People often speak of his intelligence, yet I find him more strategic than intelligent. He is much like any predator extremely opportunistic in his conquests. He prefers the easy kill of the young and susceptible or weak and weary. When Satan came to tempt Jesus, he came at a time where he felt Jesus would be weaker in the flesh. Because that’s where Satan can attack you, in your flesh or in your mind. Your flesh is susceptible to his cunning schemes, it is there the pride of the eyes and the lust of the flesh dance with our sin nature, making his mission very easy in deed at times.
The devil likes it when we are tired and he loves it when we are stressed out. Stress causes our immune systems to weaken, our tempers to flare, and our focus to be taken from God and fixated on problems. Satan loves stress. When you are in the weakened state of stress or worry he slithers in to wait for the perfect moment to strike. If you have ever watched a hurt little fish flopping around on top of the water you can understand what happens when we are stressed out, tired, or afraid. A maimed fish will float on top of the water spinning round in a circle. As it spins and fights for it’s life it is sending out distressed vibrations in the water. Eventually those stress vibrations attract a bigger fish who comes and swallows him up for dinner. This analogy in nature reminds me of what the Bible says about Satan traveling to and fro like a lion seeking whom he may devour. He is looking for the weak, the tired, and the spiritually sick that he can pick off easily. It is in his nature, it’s what he does. That is also why God told us 365 times in the Bible not to fear or live in worry – it gives the enemy a foothold for attack.
In Jesus’ case he came when Jesus was hungry. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew maybe the devil thought Jesus would do the same. (Genesis 25:33-34) But in his time of physical weakness Satan presents his prideful proposals.
His second means of attack is to make you question who you are. He loves to manipulate our mind and make us question even who we are. Psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissistic type personalities often do this to their victims. They like to get inside their victims heads and rearrange the victims identity in such a way the victim feels crazy after awhile. Satan is the father of those behaviors and he is the master of making you question who you are in Christ. He did the same thing to Jesus – he starts his temptations out with “If you are the Son of God”… do you see it…IF you are the Son of God. He is trying to weaken Jesus with manipulation on a psychological level. He wants Jesus to question himself.
Satan plants seeds of doubt. He has one goal to separate you from God. He hates that God loves you and that you love God. Satan has hated us from the beginning, he has an extreme jealousy towards us. He also knows his time is limited and it is running out. Revelation depicts his ending and he knows his fate. He is on a seek and destroy mission until that day he is cast away into the Lake of Fire. He has no mercy on us, he wants to take as many of us with him as he can in his effort to hurt God and man. He also wants to make sure he causes us pain and sorrow a plenty IF he can here on earth.
So what can you do? Protect yourself with taking care of yourself. Get sleep, eat right, guard your mind and body. Be on the lookout for your weaknesses. Learn them and ask God to help you build them up to resist the evil one. Get dressed properly EVERYDAY according to Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Be armed with the Scripture in your mind so that the second he attacks with an “If you are a child of God” or an “If God loves you” you can hammer back with an IT IS WRITTEN “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35 KJV) or an “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13 KJV) or an “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6 KJV. IT IS WRITTEN is our Bible given battle plan.
There are 31,102 scripture verses in the Bible. That’s a lot of ammunition to fire back at the devil with. Memorize your favorite scriptures and when he comes with an “If” open fire with an “IT IS WRITTEN” recourse. The Bible is your never ending supply of ammunition against the evil one. Read it, learn it, KNOW IT – USE IT!
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
Matthew 4:1-11 KJV