Luke 4 : 9 - 12, Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" And Jesus answered and said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'" NKJV
Christians have many promises given to us in God’s Word that are yes and amen in Christ. Since we are in Christ, and His Spirit lives in us, every promise is ours. God in His infinite love and wisdom has provided promises that cover every area of life. All that God requires of us is that we take Him at His Word and stand on His promises until they manifest in our lives.
In today’s scripture, Satan tempted Jesus to tempt the Lord God. When I sought direction for today’s word, the Holy Spirit instructed me to this particular temptation of Jesus and said to teach His people the warning contained within it. Let’s dissect this story so that we can glean a few powerful insights into what was really going on and why Satan sought to tempt Jesus to tempt the Lord God.
At this point, in the forty days of temptation, Satan had already provoked Jesus in an attempt to get Him to prove His spiritual identity by turning the stone into bread. Since Jesus didn’t give in to the enemy’s invitation, Satan changed his approach just a little. Why did he change the way he tempted Jesus? The first attempt failed; this let Satan know that he wasn’t toying with just anyone. Jesus had responded with authority from the Word. Therefore, Satan pulled a promise out of context and tried to use it to tempt Jesus to put His Father to the test. Nonetheless, Satan’s second method of temptation was also futile. If a particular temptation doesn’t work on a believer, then Satan will move on to the next level.
Even though Jesus is the Son of God, and the promise that Satan used was written about Him, Jesus understood the conditions or context of the promise. If we read the promise in its context, we will see that Satan conveniently omitted a very important part that keeps us from forcing the Lord to protect us while we are in rebellion to the promise. Here is the promise in its entirety. Psalms 91 : 11 - 12, For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. NKJV
I highlighted the omitted part of the promise so you could see the subtlety of Satan. A person would have to know the scripture like Jesus did in order to understand that you can’t tempt the Lord God, even though the promise of protection is written especially for you. You may be wondering, “How would knowing this small omission of scripture keep me from entering temptation and tempting the Lord?”
God tells us in Hosea 4:6 that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. When we don’t know the Word of God for ourselves, we won’t know when we have “crossed-the-line” and entered into temptation, to the extent that we begin to tempt the Lord God. Jesus knew the Word and quoted it correctly back to Satan. Therefore, we, too, must know the Word so that we can properly respond to Satan. We can learn from today’s teaching that if we are ignorant of the Word of God, then Satan will use it to cause us to “sin against the Lord and then justify our sin” by taking scripture out of context or omitting parts of scripture that holds us accountable to God.
Has Satan tempted you recently to misuse the Word in order to justify a particular sin or way of life that violates the Word of God? If so, then Satan has been effective at getting your cooperation to tempt the Lord your God. God has promised to protect us, but He won’t cover unrepentant sin in our hearts. Love only covers sins that have been confessed and repented of. God gives grace to the humble, but He opposes the proud.
Thank God that He forgives us when we repent and ask for His forgiveness. He covers our sins with the blood of Jesus so that the Tempter can’t exploit our weaknesses to the point of destroying our souls because we committed sin against the Lord. There is nothing as great as the graciousness of our God when we realize that we have crossed-the-line, and we humble ourselves before Him.
Forgiven And Covered,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery