Tuesday, 1 July 2014
How Satan Tempts Us: The 3 Appeals (1)
We are tempted everyday by that of the world. Satan is described in the Bible as the prince of the world. He works through the major establishments in this world, whether it be the media, political, legal, educational, religious and economic establishment to achieve his purposes.
Matthew 4:1-11 tells of satan's temptation of Jesus. First, satan appeals of his flesh or intellect. Satan assures Him that because He is Son of God, He can turn bread into stone, and so He should do it because He can. The spirit of that statement is that if one can do something for one's flesh or one's perceived needs, one should do so. Serving one's needs is something that is deemed normal in modern society, even by many within the modern church. However, Jesus replied to satan that "man shall not live by bread alone". Jesus was saying that even if one can do something to relieve oneself from something distasteful, unpleasant or difficult, this does not justify acting to get that which will relieve one's flesh.
Secondly, satan appeals to the eyes by saying that even if you jump down a cliff, the angels will protect you. The thought of one jumping off a cliff, only to have angels protect oneself would appeal visually to one's senses. It is something of the eyes, rather than the flesh because it deals with the natural realm. In the same way, satan seduces those with a scientific mind to believe that if something cannot be seen, it cannot be believed, but that if something can be seen, only can it be believed.
Finally, satan appeals to pride of life - the emotion and spirit of a person. He tells Jesus that if He bows down before him, he would give Him all the kingdoms of the world. A person gets upset whenever one's pride is being attacked or being threatened because he holds onto his pride. This is a stirring of the emotion and spirit of the person, which leads his thoughts and ultimately his actions. The pride of life is that from which a person feels that one has gained from. It can be in the form of money, family, health, education, financial security - anything earthly that makes one feel secure according to oneself.