(By Ricky Scaparo) As we continue or “Wilderness Series” I want to close this final segment with a focus on the three weapons that was used against Jesus in the Wilderness when the Devil tempted him for forty days and forty nights. Consequently, these same three weapons are nothing new and have been used against believers for thousands of years and have an excellent track record of success. These three are mentioned in the New Testament in the book of 1 John chapter two:
1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
The Lust of the Eyes:
Let’s begin with the first temptation of Christ in the Wilderness. The Bible tells us in the book of Matthew that Jesus was on a forty day fast and hungered greatly. Knowing this Satan came at him with the lust of the eyes. The book of Matthew says: “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” So let’s talk about this for a second. Apparently, Satan understood that Jesus obtained the ability to transform stones into bread, but it was not the will of the Father to do so. So we can understand this from a practical understanding but let’s dig a bit deeper.
Bread is soft and stones are hard. When you and I are in a season of testing, we will be tempted to take an easier path. We will be tempted to compromise in areas that would naturally be hard and make them smooth and without pressure. Sure Jesus could have turned stones into bread, but that would have been the easy path and not the perfect will of Heaven. Remember the path of least resistance is not always the will of God. I remember many saints in the past had this concept that if you were being hindered or opposed that it was because you had sin in your life but when we dig deeper into the Word of God this isn’t always the case. Just ask Job, Daniel, Joseph or the Apostle Paul! Another thing I want to emphasize here is that we have made the mistake over the yers by trying to judge the fruit of ministries based on the size of their buildings, attendance or pocketbook. However, the reality is that these things are an outward perception and not always a representation of real biblical fruit. How many souls are being saved, discipled, delivered, transformed, etc. The Biggest, Brightest, and Greatest isn’t always what it seems. There is definitely more than meets the EYE
The Lust of the Flesh:
The word “flesh” in the new testament has two primary meanings. One is regarding the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood of both man and beasts. The second meaning is the sensuous nature of man, “the animal nature” or we could say the “Carnal” nature of man. In the temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness and against you and I, Satan uses tactics against our “carnal nature” to try to derail us from our assignments our or walk with God. In the next temptation against Christ Satan attempted to make Jesus do something very dumb and could have killed him in the flesh preventing the purpose of the Son of Man from coming to pass. The Book of Matthew reads:
Matthew 4:5-6 – 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.’
When you and I get into the heat of battle or in the middle of a wilderness season, it will keep us tired, fatigued, weak and vulnerable to make irrational decisions that could end up with disastrous consequences for ourselves and our families and Ministry. Who in their right mind would jump off the top of a building for no other reason than to tempt the Lord? You may laugh at this question but how many people have made some of the dumbest decisions in the middle of trials? They go out and sleep around and end up pregnant or with an STD; They go against wise counsel to not associate with certain individuals and end up hurt. They marry the wrong man or woman because they were driven by their flesh and not their Spirit. Even disastrous financial decisions can be made in the middle of a wilderness season.
The Pride of Life:
Last but not least we have the final weapon of choice used by the enemy and t is the “Pride of Life”. This weapon of choice has consumed countless young ministers and men and women all over the world.In fact pride is one of the seven things the Lord hates mentioned in the Book of Proverbs and no wonder it was the very thing that resulted in Lucifer losing his position in heaven and being tossed out. The bible gives dire warnings throughout the old and New Testaments of the sin of Pride. Now here we see in the Gospel of Matthew Jesus being tempted with a very strange temptation.
Matthew 4: 8-9 – 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.”
Have you ever wondered how in the World Satan could tempt Jesus the Son of the Living God with something that he already possessed? The Bible says that Earth is the Lord’s, The Silver and Gold is his and the inhabitants thereof. So how could this be a temptation? The answer is simple. Jesus came on assignment by his Heavenly Father to be the lowly servant and give his life as a ransom for many. Hebrews 12:2 – 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.
The first coming of the Messiah was to be the suffering lamb but the next time he returns he will come as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Satan tried to give Jesus a seat of authority and make him a ruler in a place where he was ordained as a servant. What we need to learn here is that the sin of pride will creep into our hearts and begin to make us feel entitled to greatness. It will tell us that we should be the boss! We should be making the decisions; We should be the owner. There are many times in our walk with God that the Lord will purposely allow ourselves to be the servants and not the Kings! This was Lucifers demise. He said to himself “I will be like the most High.” “I will set my throne above God”! Never forget where you came from and that if it weren’t for the Lord and his Grace, we would be nobody! The Devil tried to make Jesus a King and not a Carpenter. But it was not yet his time. God isn’t opposed to promotion, but he is opposed to pride. Remain humble, serve and allow the Lord to raise you up in his time. I’ve seen many people and ministers fall because they obtained too much power and position prematurely and wasn’t willing to graduate from the Wilderness first.