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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#847. Be aware of the battle (3/7/23)

Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. This week, we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is and this week we are considering Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.

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‘Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.’ (Luke 4:1-2)
‘When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.’ (Luke 4:13-15)

Main idea: Jesus’ temptation in the desert reveals the spiritual battle we are in and that we are to use the Word of God to defend ourselves against dark powers.


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We are in a war

We can all be lured into a false sense of security and believe that the devil cannot really affect us. We can fail to recognise his attacks and to understand how to repulse and counterattack. We can be like children playing near the road. Recently, I saw a teenager playing with a football as he walked along the road only for it to go into the road and for him to run after it but, thankfully, no harm came to him. However, we can all be unwise or ignorant of the battle and the enemy and that’s why it’s important to teach on this subject regularly.


Jesus’ temptation in the desert teaches us much about the spiritual battle, the spiritual enemy and the spiritual weapons that we are to use.


Firstly, it’s important to know that none of us can avoid the spiritual battle. We may wish to bury our heads in the sand but that is simply to avoid reality. We read that Jesus even though He was full of the Spirit and was walking in perfect obedience was ‘led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.’ None of us are immune. The devil is always looking for an ‘opportune time’ to attack.


The nature of our enemy

We are taught about this war and the spiritual forces that we face:

‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’ (Ephesians 6:10-13)

This text teaches that the devil has ‘schemes’; he is forming strategic plans to attack God’s glory and God’s people. Our enemy is described as ‘rulers… authorities… powers of this dark world and … spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ The devil and his forces are spiritual and are working in unseen ways with great power. We would be wrong to underestimate our enemy!


We are urged not to be ignorant of the war and the nature of our enemy so that he will not ‘outwit us’:

‘Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven – if there was anything to forgive – I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.’ (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Here we can see that Satan was seeking to breed division - one of his most frequent goals. We are told that forgiveness was the weapon to be employed on this occasion. Like Paul and Jesus, we must be aware of his schemes.


David Devenish writes of spiritual warfare:

‘Definition of spiritual warfare: What do I mean by spiritual warfare? The definition I work with is as follows: ’The reality that the advance of the gospel and the building of the church involve us in attacking and experiencing counter-attack in relation to the real cosmic forces of darkness under the control of Satan who is also described at ‘the god of this world’.’ (Dave Devenish. Demolishing Stongholds. Page 24)

Response

Jesus’ temptation in the desert reveals the spiritual battle we are in and that we are to use the Word of God to defend ourselves against dark powers.

Over the course of the devotionals for this week, we will learn about how to use the Bible as ‘the sword of the Spirit’ to defend and attack.

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


There are no groups this week due to our week of prayer. Please go to Church News or contact the office for the Zoom Link and details.

We are having a shared prayer meeting with Vineyard Life Church Richmond on Tuesday evening (in the building) so let's do all that we can to be there. Would be great to have at least 50 of our members there.









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