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Message

Thy Will Be Done - Part 3, Spiritual Warfare Basics
Miles McPherson - April 6, 2014

Message Recap

Many times we want to jump into big spiritual things, when we can’t even handle the basic concepts before us.  We ask for satisfaction and complain when we don’t get what we want. 

When the devil tempts us, we need to go right to the truth, not to our opinions, feelings, or experiences. All of that is weak compared to the power of the Word of God.

One basic concept we must grasp is to recognize when the devil is tempting us and know how to respond to that temptation.  This is rooted in our identity as either children of God or children of Satan. (A child of Satan isn’t necessarily a “devil-worshiper,” but rather someone who rejects God’s truth and therefore places himself in opposition to Him as Satan’s ally.)

If you’re a child of Satan, you will listen to your flesh, pride, and desires.
If you’re a child of God, you will trust and obey God’s Word.

When Jesus first began His ministry, He fasted for 40 days in the desert, at end of which the devil tempted Him.  Today we’ll examine how Jesus resisted those temptations.  Had He chosen to, Jesus could have exerted all of His Godly authority and power to crush the devil, but instead he modeled his resistance as a human, that we might understand how to submit to the Holy Spirit and combat the devil with truth.

When the devil tempts us, we need to go right to the truth, not to our opinions, feelings, or experiences.  All of that is weak compared to the power of the Word of God.

Lust of the flesh

Evil (Satan or demonic persons) will speak to you and try to get you to sign a contract to allow the lust of your flesh to guide your decisions.

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into[a] the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” Luke 4:1-4

The devil wants you to give in to every natural desire of your body, and to use your own power and influence to satisfy yourself.  He may tempt you to dress a certain way, say certain words, lie, cheat, steal, overwork yourself, or forsake others in order to get what you want.  But Jesus teaches us that all of our desires will be satisfied by obeying the Word of God.  We may not always see how God is going to accomplish something, but we must follow His lead and submit our wills to His.

Lust of the eyes

Evil (Satan or demonic persons) will speak to you and try to get you to sign a contract to worship him in exchange for authority and power that only God can give you.

Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him[d] all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 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.  Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
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.’ ”
  Luke 4:5-8

Originally, God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth, but the devil deceived them to believe him, and they gave up their authority to him.  When Jesus came, died and rose, He reclaimed the authority that was stolen and He wants to give authority back to those who believe, that we may have victory over temptation in our lives.

Satan is powerful and he’ll promise you anything if you worship him (which simply means turning your back on God).

Pride of life

Evil (Satan or demonic persons) will speak to you and try to get you to sign a contract to test God, asking Him to follow your lead, versus you following His lead.

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.  For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you,’
and,
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
Luke 4:9-12

Notice that Satan tempts Jesus to prove His identity over and over again.  If He does that to Jesus, he will certainly do that to you:  “Are you really a man/woman? Then…” or “If you’re really the boss, then…”

Satan would like you to prove yourself with pride by taking matters into your own hands.

The best way to combat the devil’s temptation is to surrender your life based on truth.

He even quotes Scripture here, saying, “For it is written...,” but Jesus also knows Scripture and combats the temptation with truth.  He shows us how important it is to study the Bible on our own and to know what it says deep in our hearts, that we may be able to discern when it is being misquoted or misused.

The best way to combat the devil’s temptation is to surrender your life based on truth.  The devil is smart and deceptive and he knows how to tempt you and how to destroy your life.  You are a sinner, but God loves you and sent his Son to die for your sins.  Jesus has all authority in heaven and He wants to make that authority available to you so that you can break the chains that the devil has on your life.  Be set free in Christ!

Thy Will Be Done

This 6-part series examines what it means to have the kingdom of God on earth and how to release God's power in your life. In Part 3, Pastor Miles teaches us to know how and when the devil is tempting us; and how to resist temptation with the truth - the Word of God.

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