As a young believer I thought my troubles were over. I was on a honeymoon with God and everything was wonderful. I soon came to realize that I had an enemy out there who was trying to make my life miserable and was succeeding on a regular basis as I did not understand the devil’s method of operation. Here is a biblical example of the devil’s persistence.
In the book of Luke, chapter 4, verse 1 it says, The Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days he ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended He was hungry.
It’s interesting to note here that devil takes his best shot at Jesus when He is at His most vulnerable moment.
And the devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But Jesus answered him saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God.’”
Notice how Jesus answered him by quoting scripture. This is why it’s so important to renew your mind with the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2) Jesus recognized the devil’s traps. The devil makes several more attempts to trip up Jesus but every time Jesus answers by quoting the Word of God. Jesus knew what the devil’s method of operation was and walked right past it. This is how the devil deceived Adam and Eve which led to the fall of man.
After the devil gave up with all his temptations he departed from Jesus until an opportune time. This shows how the devil never gives up and no doubt came and tempted Jesus on more occasions. Should we expect anything different? If the devil was stupid enough to waste his time tempting God Himself, will he not come after you and I the same way?
The key for all believers is to be able to recognize the devil’s traps and be walk around them. If you fall into a trap, and we all have, it will put up a barrier between God and His relationship with you. Let me share an example of how this happens. Just this week while I was traveling to work I was praying and seeking God’s will for that day when a car came up behind me and began tailgating. I hate that. So I became distracted and put my focus on how to deal with this tailgater. He couldn’t get around me, as traffic was bad, and rather than pulling over and letting him get by I let him aggravate me all the way to the plant where I worked. One minute I am communing with God and the next I am wanting to give some idiot driver a piece of my mind. I got offended. All morning I told my co-workers how this guy was messing with me on the road. The event was still on my mind when I was headed home and when it dawned on me what was happening. I had fallen into one of the devil’s traps. I was offended by that driver and couldn’t get past it. I quickly repented and forgave the guy as I didn’t want to fall into unforgiveness.
You see unforgiveness is one of the devil’s best weapons against believers. If fall into that trap he can lead you around and put up a barrier between you and God. How? Let’s look at what God’s model for prayer say’s about this.
In Matthew chapter 6:9-15 we read as Jesus says; “In this manner therefore pray: Our father in heaven, Hallowed by your name. Your kingdom come your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Think about it. If you have been offended and can’t forgive someone of their sins against you then God will not forgive you of your sins against Him. If you have fallen into this trap, today is the day to free yourself from the clutches of the devil and tear down that barrier between you and God. How? Openly repent and forgive that person. You might say, “It’s not that easy. I keep thinking about what he did and it won’t go away.” Then start praying for this person every time the unforgiveness tries to rise up. Once you recognize the trap God will show you how to get out of it.
If you don’t know Jesus as Lord ask Him to be Lord of your life. Jesus paid a debt that you could not pay by being crucified on a cross and going to hell for three days until your debt and mine were paid in full. God raised Him up on the third day. The bible says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved (Ro 10:9-10). Saved from what? From spending an eternity in hell. You see, knowing who Jesus is doesn’t make you a believer. Even the devil knows that. You must ask Him personally to be the Lord of your life. Now is the time. Turn off the TV and your smartphone, get down on your knees and ask Him to forgive you of all your sins and be the Lord of your life. Do it now before the devil tries to distract you away from salvation. You will never regret it. Choose Jesus! Choose Life.