8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8–9)
That poor water buffalo is in trouble! He got separated from the herd as the lions wanted. The lions prey on the weak and lonely, working to separate them from the protection of the herd!
Satan is no different. God tells us that he is the father of lies, sneaky and is set on separating us from the love of God at all costs. He desires to devour and destroy! He knows that if he can separate followers of Jesus, Christians, from Jesus, his Word and the church (the gathering of believers around the Word), that he has the best chance of destroying them eternally. He knows that God has promised that through the Gospel in Word and Sacrament is where the Holy Spirit promises to give and strengthen faith. This spiritual battle is far more dangerous as it is for eternity! The end game is hell!
On the first Sunday of Lent we hear Jesus willingly go to be tempted by the Devil. (Matthew 4:1-11, see below). We get a chance to see how the Devil works. He tries to get Jesus to use his godly powers for his own good. Jesus uses God’s Word to defend himself. Satan comes back using that same Word of God. Yes, Satan knows God’s Word. He knows it well and knows it has power. He twists it to get Jesus to test his Father. Notice how Jesus came back and used God’s Word to fight back against the Devil.
The Devil then tries to deceive Jesus, telling him that he would give him all the treasures of the world if he bowed down to him. Oh, how the treasurers of this world entice us and take our souls. So many things I can’t do without: sports, cell phones, money, clothes, family, relaxation, busyness of our lives… I have to say, the Devil seems to be winning in this area. Leading us to think we have God’s blessings when we can see so much around us, leading us to not have time to listen to Jesus or to come encourage each other around Jesus and his Word! See how Satan leads us to put our trust in the things God has given us, instead of God himself. He is so deceptive! It is hard to get away from Satan when he has set his jaws around our life!
Thank the Lord, Jesus came and defeated the Devil! He defeated our sin! In his Word, the Holy Spirit helps us to resist and to change our lives. It is interesting that when you search for lions killing water buffalo, you find many times where the lions got killed by the water buffalo. The family of believers gather around the Word of Jesus to grow, encourage and help protect one another! This is why our Lord has brought us together as the family of God! Praying the Lord helps you keep growing and fighting the Devil’s temptations! Pastor Green
Jesus Fighting the Temptations of the Devil
Matthew 4:1–11 —1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.