Faithlife Sermons

Overcoming Satan

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John 14:29–31 NKJV
29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
Focus verse:
John 14:30 NKJV
30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
Note: the devil had nothing in Jesus. Analogy of remove having something in TV.
Ephesians 4:27 NKJV
27 nor give place to the devil.
Why should we give him no place?
John 10:10 NKJV
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Let us look at the following example of how the devil had nothing in Jesus:
Luke 4:1–13 NKJV
1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” 9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ 11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” 13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

1st Temptation: Tempted to Gratify the Flesh

It seems that one of Jesus’ tests in the wilderness was that He was to fast for 40 days. Fasting means going without food for spiritual reasons and helps to develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
During His fast, when He was hungry, the devil tempted Jesus to turn stone into bread. As the Son of God, Jesus could easily have done that, but then He would have been disobeying God.
Jesus responded by quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3: “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God.
The devil will also tempt us to gratify our flesh and disobey God. Gratifying the flesh can include the following:
Galatians 5:19–21 NLT
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

2nd Temptation: Tempted with Power

The devil then tempted Jesus with power. He said I will give you all the kingdoms of the world if you bow down and worship me.
Jesus responded to the devils temptation by again quoting from the book of Deuteronomy:
Luke 4:8 NKJV
8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
[Notice the authority with Jesus spoke to the devil, we need to do the same]
The devil will also tempt us with power. It may not be as obvious as it was with Jesus. He may say,
If you would just lie or make the other person look bad you could get that promotion…
If you would just compromise and be willing to sing songs that glorify sin you could get that record deal….
If you would just cheat in the exam you get that place at uni…
Ultimately what this comes down to is faith.
Do we trust in God to exalt us according to His plan and will, or do we trust in the short cut.
1 Peter 5:6 NKJV
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

3rd Temptation: Tempted to Show-Off

Next, the devil tempted Jesus to show off! He said to Jesus, You’re the Son of God, if God will protect anyone He will protect you. Jump off the top of the temple and show the world who you are!
In life, the devil will tempt us to show off. In other words, he will tempt us to use the gifts and abilities God has given us to impress people, instead of to serve them. We must never use our gifts or talk about what God has done through us to impress people, we must only use what God has given us to serve people.
The devil even quoted God’s promises of protection in Psalm 91 in order to tempt Jesus to jump from the temple.
Jesus responded by saying
Luke 4:12 NKJV
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
[The word “tempt” simply means “test” – you shall not put the Lord your God to the test]
The promises of God are not an excuse for being reckless.
E.g. you can’t say:
God promises to provide for me so I’m not going to work!
Notice that the devil misused God’s word in tempting Jesus. It is possible to misuse the Bible. The Bible is not a box of verses from which we can randomly select a text and run with it. It is a collection of books that must be read a book at a time so that each text is understood in its context. Only when the Bible is read book by book can we really understand God’s heart and properly apply it to our lives.

No Room for Complacency

The final verse in our passage about Jesus’ temptation is Luke 4:13:
Luke 4:13 NKJV
13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
“He departed from Him” – this shows us that when we resist the devil he will flee:
James 4:7 NKJV
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
“Until an opportune time” – this shows that the devil will be back!
Just because we have overcome once, doesn’t mean we can be complacent. We must live in such a way that we are always well positioned to overcome the devil.
1 Peter 5:8–9 NKJV
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
1 Corinthians 10:12 NKJV
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

The way forward

We ultimately need to get to the place where we are so full of God that there is not room for the devil.
How? By keeping our focus on Jesus!
There was an occasison when the disciples were in a boat, and Jesus came walking to them on the sea.
Matthew 14:28–31 NKJV
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
When Peter focused on the winds and waves, he sank. God wants us to keep our focus on Jesus so that we can keep walking on water, walking in the Spirit. When we focus on the world and the flesh, we begin to sink:
Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We can keep our focus on Jesus by ensure our lives are saturated daily with the Word of God and prayer.
Matthew 26:41 NKJV
41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Luke 4:4 NKJV
4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
Notice that Jesus referred to God’s word as our spiritual food. To be strong physically, physical food is required. But to strong spiritually, spiritual food is required, and that food is the word of God.
Here is a simple reason we often fall into temptation, we spend more time feeding our body, than we do feeding our spirit [pause]. This means that we are more sensitive to our flesh than to our spirit. Bu through the word and prayer, let us be people of the Spirit!

Summary

The devil will tempt us to gratify our flesh in disobedience to God, tempt us to achieve power through ungodly means, and tempt us to show off
We must speak with authority to the devil when he attacks us
We must never use our gifts or talk about what God has done through us to impress people, we must only use what God has given us to serve people
The promises of God are not an excuse for being reckless
The word of God is a weapon that we can use against the devil
If we are going to overcome temptation, the word of God must be in our life
a simple reason we often fall into temptation, we spend more time feeding our body, than we do feeding our spirit
We must not be complacent; overcoming the devil once does not mean he won't be back!
We must keep our focus on Jesus by being people of the word and prayer
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