Say It Like You Mean It – Matthew 3:17
I was just re-reading the story of Jesus being tempted by the devil in the wilderness while fasting for forty days. This followed his baptism and the glorious time when the heavens opened and the Father said; “‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.'” (Matthew 3:17)
Yeah boy, wasn’t that just like Satan? He was sure Johnny on the spot to needle Jesus while he was in a severe desert experience. He does the same thing to us after we come off a victory or when we are pressing in deeper for God. Anyhow, I noticed something for the first time about the way Jesus handled it.
Jesus countered each temptation with the Word of God. That’s not the thing I noticed but it is worth saying all the same that when we are tempted we should follow our Lord’s example. Each time Jesus spoke the Word, Satan withdrew his tactic and started over in a different way. If one thing doesn’t work, try the next thing. Somehow, Jesus let him continue…until.
Finally Jesus said; “‘Begone, Satan!'” (Matthew 4:10) So Jesus put up with his temptations for a while but when he was finished allowing it he made that simple command. And you know what? The next verse says; “Then the devil left Him.” (Verse 11) That’s what struck me.
I wonder how often I put up with repeated temptations, simply tolerating them when I don’t have to. James 4:7 tells us to “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Perhaps the best way to resist is to give Satan a command like Jesus did.
If you want the same results I have a feeling though that like Christ, you have to say it like you mean it!