Fighting the Enemy

Fighting

Do you feel like you’re in a losing battle? I do!

I laid awake one night terrified because of a movie I had watched with some friends. Every time I tried closing my eyes, I remembered images that I wished I hadn’t seen. Fear has always been a reminder to me that there is an enemy that I have to fight.

Maybe it’s not fear that you battle, but lust, deceit, pride, or any number of other things. Let’s look to Jesus and see how to deal with the enemy. Read Matthew 4 with me:

Vs. 1-4: The enemy tempts Jesus where Jesus is “weakest.”

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

The country I currently live in has a 30-day fast every year. It’s the law: no food or drink until sundown. I can tell you from watching it, going without food makes people tired, weak, and leaves them in pain. Can you imagine? Forty full days with no nutrition for His earthly body, then the enemy slyly reminds Jesus that he can eat whenever he wants. ‘Just turn a stone to bread.’ What does Jesus do? He gets his strength from the heavenly bread, the Word of God, and says (v.4),

“Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Deuteronomy 8:3

Vs. 5-7: The enemy tries to make Jesus prove Himself.

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,

    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Have you ever been asked to prove something you can do?

“You play basketball? Shoot a three-pointer.”

“You know Spanish? Say something.”

“Prove it!”

The enemy tries this with Jesus by questioning the very core of His identity which sets Him apart from anyone else who has ever existed. “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down…” (Matt 4:6). Jesus doesn’t give in to the misrepresented Scripture. In fact, by knowing and obeying God’s commands, Jesus shows His identity more truly than if he had listened to the enemy’s schemes.

Vs. 8-10: Jesus doesn’t take the enemy’s bribe. Instead, He calls the shots.

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God

    and him only shall you serve.’”

When the enemy tries to offer great kingdoms and glory, Jesus has the strength to say no. In fact, He is so much more powerful than the enemy, that when He tells the enemy to “Be gone!”the enemy must obey. He leaves.

It is so clear in the Matthew passage that Jesus can handle this enemy. The enemy is no match for Him! So when the enemy comes to destroy the people of God, where should they look? To Jesus! Because of Jesus’ great power, we have great confidence to go to Him for help in time of need!

So how do we do that?

  1. Get to know the Victor if you want in on the victory.

The best way to fight our enemy is by His Word. Scripture is what Jesus used to fight the enemy. I’m not just talking about the New Testament. The Old Testament is all about Jesus too (Luke 24:27). I can tell you firsthand that studying the Bible transforms your heart and mind giving you a fuller understanding of your relationship with Jesus. 

  1. Do whatever it takes to set your mind on Christ continually.

In the midst of battle you will need to remember who Christ is and where the victory belongs! Do whatever it takes to set your heart and mind on Jesus, the one who has defeated the enemy, and watch Him provide the mercy and grace you need.

Some people I know memorize passages of Scripture to repeat to themselves when they are tempted. Some immediately start praying. Others sing songs of worship.

The enemy may have power, but you know the One who has Victory! Draw near to Him and gain strength for the battle at hand.

Kristina

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