Temptation

Apostle Don Meares

Satan Tempts Jesus

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

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.’ ”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not [a]tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

8 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.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, [b]“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. 

Matthew 4:1-11

The issue of worship is the central subject in the Scriptures because worship is much more than singing songs. Worship is much more than talking to God because how you worship determines how you believe. And what you believe determines how you will worship. So, when we think of worship as the central theme of all Scripture, we must come to the Bible to understand who we worship and how to worship.

Worship is just as important to God. He doesn’t give us the luxury of worshiping Him depending on how we feel. God is a sovereign being. Sometimes, people say, “Just worship Him the way you feel.” But when you approach God, you must approach Him as a King. There are certain ways you stand in the presence of a sovereign being. 

If you are a born-again believer you were primarily created for one purpose — to worship God. Why would God create mankind to worship Him when He already had angels, cherubim, and seraphim that worshiped Him? The problem was, and still is, that worship of the angelic host toward God is not worshiped by will, it is worshiped by designated creation. God says, “Look, I need to create something different. Somebody who does not worship me because they have to, but they worship me because they want to.” 

If you want to understand anything about the angelic structure of Heaven and the original creation, God had three archangels. There was Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. Each Archangel was in charge of the three W’s of Heaven. Michael was in charge of warfare in Heaven and Earth. Gabriel was in charge of the Word, and Lucifer was in charge of worship in Heaven. If you’re unaware of this, the name Lucifer means “light bearer” in Hebrew. It means “shining light” and the “coming of the dawn and the Morning Star” in Greek. 

Michael was God’s warring angel in Heaven and Earth. Whenever God had something to say, Gabriel brought the Word, and whenever it was time to worship, it was indeed Lucifer. The Bible tells us in Ezekiel 28, he was the covering cherub. What does that mean? He covered the very Throne of God, and the Bible tells us that in Lucifer’s robe, were nine stones. And in his voice, there was every instrument. So, when Lucifer opened his mouth to sing, he sang all four parts in perfect harmony. He was literally a synthesizer because he was not only a pipe organ. He was the drums. He didn’t need a choir, and he didn’t need a band. He didn’t need an orchestra. He himself, with one note, filled Heaven with the most beautiful sound ever. God Himself emanated through his being and his robe. Many Christians are not aware of this. 

The Scripture says that every precious stone was in his robe. So that when the light of God shone through his robe, every color began to show. When Lucifer walked, God literally had a light show and a song show all at the same time. Because God is a consuming fire, when he picked his foot up, the stones caught on fire. Lucifer had the privilege of walking right behind God, covering Him, and giving all the worship from the millions of angelic hosts unto God Himself. The Bible tells us that he became proud. He began to think that he became the object of all the worship of the angelic host. He began to want to receive the worship to himself. Lucifer was specifically created to offer worship to God, but he didn’t want to give the offering to God. He tried to keep it for himself. The Bible says God threw him out of Heaven. How did this happen? Michael the Archangel waged war with Lucifer and removed him from Heaven. He was kicked out. There was a vacancy in Heaven. So, God created man to fill the place that Lucifer lost. 

But why would God make a man who can also sing? Why would He create man to worship when he can also choose not to worship? It is the great risk that God took. He gave man free choice. God understood that worship is offered willingly. He has a far greater value on it than worship offered by design. 

Of all the beings God created, we have the ability to recognize Him to be the only true God, that there is none beside Him. 

We were created to worship

We were created to worship because we are intellectual beings. We must know what we believe before we offer our praise. Then, we are transported from the realm of praise into the spiritual realm of worship. It is not enough to praise and worship if we do not know how to do it acceptably. It is not enough if we don’t know who we are to worship and how we are to worship. This is where the problem comes into the church. Oftentimes, we do not place enough importance on systematic doctrine. This leads to poor theology. And we don’t have a proper vision of God. It is absolutely necessary to have the right view of God so that we can receive the rhema or revelation of who He is. You cannot know God apart from revelation and rhema. You cannot know who God is through education. You cannot know who God is through the level of your IQ or the teaching you listen to. It is only by personal revelation. 

If your view is less than who God is, then the worship you will offer is not adequate for Him. You won’t be able to worship Him in spirit and in truth. When you worship Him, you will say things about Him that are befitting the dignity of His being. When you worship in spirit and in truth, you may be sitting next to someone who does not have a proper view of God. But when they listen to you worship and talk to God through your faith, it will increase their faith. They will understand who He is, listen to you, and come into their own revelation and insight of God. 

Understanding temptation 

When it comes to temptation, any attack from the enemy must always begin with the attack on the Person of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 3, Jesus gets baptized. The heavens open up, and the voice of God affirms who Jesus is. God says Jesus is His beloved Son, and the Holy Ghost descended on Him like a dove. The Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, where He will experience spiritual combat and warfare. 

Understand this: anytime you get affirmed, prepare yourself for tribulation. When God affirms you with a rhema, you better get ready for the attack that’s connected to the promise. If it is not tried, the promise remains a fantasy until you go through the process, prove your worth, and show God that He has made a good investment in you. 

Jesus, though He was God in the flesh, still had to go into the wilderness to be tempted. Jesus’ ministry needed training before He could start. He had to be trained with the temptation, testing, attack, and warfare because this would reveal His purpose. God the Father does not give authority to those who do not pass the test. God does not bring people to greatness without ensuring they are ready for the greatness He has promised them. 

Sometimes, greatness that comes too soon produces another Lucifer. It produces someone who begins to think that they become the object of worship and forget that their primary existence is because they were created to worship God. So, you’ve got to go through the process to see if you are ready for the promise. There’s no way ever to avoid this test. This is a principle in the Scriptures. God wants to give you what He has promised, but you need to be ready to walk in it. You need to be ready for it. 

If you’re going through attacks, stop worrying. If you’re going through temptations, God is seeing whether or not you are ready to walk in the promise of His purpose that He’s called you to. Change your mindset. Don’t look at the trials and temptations as the enemy trying to destroy you. Look at it as God testing you to see if you are ready to deal with the responsibility for to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). 

If you’re going through great temptation, you must learn to rejoice because you’re being tested. And if you pass the test, right around the corner is the promise. The greater your ministry, the greater your testing. 

Are you continually being filled with power from the Holy Ghost to have enough light and salt to be used by God to get people saved and born again? If not, you are not ready for a ministry. Authority comes by being endued with power for one purpose — to witness. There is a process attached to your ministry. You do not give a person a key post without testing. Authority is not a right. It is a privilege. It must be earned and proven by character because authority belongs to those who passed the test. 

In Matthew 4:1-11, after Jesus had fasted 40 days, He was hungry. When the devil approaches Him, he tempts Him with hunger. This gives us insight that Satan will never tempt you in any area that you’re strong or have conquered. He will always tempt you in an area that you’re weak in. The devil never tempts you where you’re strong. The enemy is going to attack you in the area where you act like you have no problem. The problem with most of us is we’re so busy trying to act like we’re Wonder Woman or Superman. We’re trying to act like we don’t have any problems. We act like we’re never tempted with anything. We act like we have it all together. We act like we’re so deep and spiritual. 

Sometimes, you need to simply put your persona aside. You need to surround yourself with some real friends who will tell you the truth. Because when the enemy comes to attack, you need people to support and pray for you. You need people who will tell you the truth. You need people who won’t judge you but would encourage and pray with you. Do you have this type of person in your life? 

One of the greatest problems is that church people will not humble themselves enough. But humility is the way to power. Humility is what obtains grace. 

When it comes to temptation, Satan will attack you through identity — who you are in Christ. This is why you have who you are in light of what Jesus has done. The moment you understand this, the devil is instantly defeated. You can’t let him mess with you again and again. You have to know who you are in Christ. If you have the seed down in your spirit, that seed begins to have a harvest, and you begin to understand who Christ is. 

Jesus’ identity had just been affirmed from Heaven by the Father through water baptism before the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness to be tested. This happened so that Jesus would be in a position to be able to say who He is even when He is under attack. 

You need to declare these things: 

I am the righteousness of God in Christ. 

I am a child of the King. 

I am saved by grace through faith. 

I am justified. I am sanctified. I am a new creature in Christ. 

I am a partaker of His divine nature. 

I am redeemed from the curse of the law.

I am redeemed from the hand of the enemy. 

I am redeemed from the powers of darkness. 

I am led by the Spirit of God. 

I am free from all bondage. 

 I am strong in the Lord and the power of His might. 

I am kept in safety wherever I go. 

I cast all of my cares on Jesus. 

I get all my needs met by Jesus. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

I am heir to the blessings of Abraham. 

I am blessed going in and going out. 

I am the heir of God and joint heirs with Jesus. 

I have eternal life. 

I am healed by His stripes. 

 I’m an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony. 

I am more than a conqueror in Christ. 

I am above and not beneath. I am walking by faith and not by sight. 

I am not moved by what I see. 

I cast down all vain imaginations. 

I am being transformed daily by the renewing of the mind. 

I am reigning through life in Jesus Christ. 

I am the light of the world. I am the salt of the earth. 

I will bless the Lord at all times and will continually praise Him with my mouth. 

This is who I am. 

We are to live in different dimensions. We cannot live life as God intended for us if we only feed the flesh. We must also feed the spirit. Your spirit needs to be fed more than your flesh so that you can triumph against the attacks of the enemy. You are more than your body. Your spirit is the real you. 

Many people live dangerously on the edge because they live by bread alone. When you can be hungry for a Living Word, and thirsty for a Living Word from the very mouth of God, you will receive His revelation for your life. God is after our hearts. He is after our spirit. When we desire the Living Word, He will lead, guide, and protect us. He will keep us alive and cause you to thrive on spiritual dimensions where you can feed your spirit by words that come out of God’s mouth. We have been created to worship God and thrive in His revelation. 

 

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