Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Preserved in Jesus Christ – Day 14

Know Your Enemy

Bible text(s)

11Put on all the armour that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. 12For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.

Ephesians 6:11-12GNBOpen in Bible reader
(Mk 1.12–13; Lk 4.1–13)

1Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. 2After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry. 3Then the Devil came to him and said, “If you are God's Son, order these stones to turn into bread.”

4But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’ ”

5Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City, set him on the highest point of the Temple, 6and said to him, “If you are God's Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says:

‘God will give orders to his angels about you;

they will hold you up with their hands,

so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’ ”

7Jesus answered, “But the scripture also says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

8Then the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their greatness. 9“All this I will give you,” the Devil said, “if you kneel down and worship me.”

10Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ”

11Then the Devil left Jesus; and angels came and helped him.

Matthew 4:1-11GNBOpen in Bible reader

When the late captain of the South African National Cricket team, Hansie Cronje, was involved in a match-fixing scandal, he admitted his complicity. His excuse that it was the devil that made him do it, was met with scorn and ridicule.

How delighted Satan must have been by that reaction. The more people scoff at the belief that Satan exists and is active in the lives of men, the better he can go about his godless activities, tempting men to rebel against God.

The Bible reveals Satan as the greatest enemy of God and man. In Ephesians 2:2, he is described as the ruler of the spiritual powers in space, the spirit who now controls the people who disobey God.

It is a mistake to ignore his existence and an even bigger mistake to under-estimate the influence and impact he can have on those you love.

Jesus was well prepared for his encounter with Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). He had just been baptised and received his Father’s seal of approval, when the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert where he fasted for 40 days.

There, the devil tempted the hungry Jesus to turn stones into bread, to test God’s love for him and finally, he offered Jesus all the worlds’ kingdoms if he would worship him. The Bible tells us that after Jesus rejected the devil, angels came and ministered to him.

Satan comes to us with his devilish tricks in our most vulnerable moments. He can leave us emotionally battered and bruised, but he can be resisted effectively. For Satan is a conquered enemy. His power and dominion over believers was broken at the cross (John 12:31).

If we submit to God and resist the devil, he will be powerless to harm us. He will run away (James 4:7).

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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