The Bible tells us that Satan bore enmity towards Christ even at the time of Adam and Eve. (Gn. 3:15; Rv. 12:4, 5.) Much later, he even tried to kill the baby Jesus through King Herod. (Mt. 2:13 & 16.)
But we see that the devil’s first direct encounter with the incarnate Christ happened just after Jesus’ baptism:
Then, Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. Luke 4:1 NKJV
So, the moment Jesus set Himself upon His God-quest, the devil attacked Him with temptations, attempting to sway Christ from fulfilling His Divine mandate.
Similar attacks come against God’s children when they are making an effort to do the same. Indeed, they are continually in Satan’s line of fire. Jesus says:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV
The devil is not your friend:
Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Pet. 5:8 ESV
Let’s look at how Satan attacked Jesus in this first encounter, as well as the way He thwarted it:
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Mt. 4:3 NKJV
Jesus was famished from His 40-day fast. The devil is making an effort to leverage this, trying to tempt Him into satisfying the ‘lust of the flesh’ – to rely upon His own resources instead of keeping faith in His Father to pull Him through.
Check out Jesus’ first line of defense:
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “ Mt. 4:3 NKJV
Christ sets this example for all of us. He defends Himself by using the word of God (in this case, quoting Dt. 8:3). When we use and walk by God’s word, He covers us with His armor by giving us access (through our faith) to His truth, righteousness, unshakeable peace and salvation so that we can successfully resist the adversary. (Eph. 6:11-18.) When we align ourselves with God spiritually, He will see that our physical needs are met as well.
Satan launched a second attack against Jesus by taking Him to the top of the temple and asking Him to prove that He is the Son of God by jumping to the ground – depending upon angels to come and keep Him from harm.
The devil quotes scripture to back him up! (Ps. 91:11, 12.) But, he’s using it out of context to suit his own purpose. That’s why it’s so important for you to stay in the word of God so as to know its right application – freeing you from the Satan’s efforts to twist those same words.
In this attempt, Satan is trying to tempt Christ into giving into the ‘pride of life,’ to cast His humility aside and exalt Himself. Jesus fires back again with the word of His Father:
“On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’ “ Mt. 4:7 NASB
In other words, we are to take God’s words as truth (by faith), believing that they will be fulfilled, instead of arrogantly demanding that fulfillment.
Having failed on his second attempt, Satan finally takes Jesus to the top of a high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of man throughout time, offering to give them to Him if He will worship him.
(Notice that the devil says that those kingdoms are his to give – suggesting that he is working behind the scenes of all governments. Hmmm. Still, this is only a half-truth, because ultimate authority always belongs to God.)
In this final attempt, Satan is trying to get Jesus to choose riches and power over the will of God, to satisfy the ‘lust of the eyes.’ Thus, we see that a craving for these things amounts to devil worship.
Jesus is not swayed. He rides this altercation to victory with God’s word – quoting Dt. 10:20:
Begone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. Mt. 4:10 AMP
The word of God is our life. The devil will attempt to steal it away at every opportunity. Look and see how effective he’s been at doing that around the world. That’s why we need to marinate ourselves in His word daily, so that we own our salvation – rising above the ways of the world with its lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Thankfully, we’ve got Jesus on our side:
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 Jn. 3:8 NASB
The devil wasn’t done with Christ however. He invaded the mind of Judas Iscariot so that Jesus would be betrayed and crucified. (Jn. 13:2) Yet, he didn’t foresee Jesus’ resurrection. Another BIG victory for us:
In the world you will have tribulation and trials and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] Jn. 16:33 AMP
Eventually, near the end of time, Jesus will vanquish all of Satan’s followers with the word of God again (…the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him… Rv. 20:21.) and ultimately tosses the devil himself into the abyss for all time. (Rv. 20:10).
Until then, we know that with regards to his attempts to sabotage our lives, he is beatable. He looks to exploit the weakest chink in our armor. However, the devil cannot make us do anything. He only has the power that we give him. We have the free will to choose God or Satan. There is no in between.
When you wear the word of God, clinging to your Jesus contact, you are invincible to the devil’s machinations:
Yet the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen [you] and set you on a firm foundation and guard you from the evil [one]. 2 Thess. 3:3 AMP
Goodnight and God Bless.