Jesus Demonstrates Spiritual Warfare
In our previous posting we presented the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan River.
As this event transpired, God’s voice was heard proclaiming Jesus to be His son. In addition, the Holy Spirit was visibly seen descending upon Him and then immediately led Him into the wilderness for testing. Interestingly, these activities were the precursors to Jesus’ public ministry. Therefore, anyone seeking to enter into the ministry of Jesus should play close attention to the sequence of activities that follow.
By reviewing the devil’s temptation of Jesus, we will obtain insight into the strategy and tactics of the enemy in spiritual warfare.
Understanding these strategies and tactics is critical as they are the very ones that the devil will deploy against us as well. Therefore, this knowledge will help us prepare for the battles ahead. Prior to getting into specific examples however, we will provide you the big picture of what the battle is all about.
Fundamentally, the devil wants to rule over you because he hates you with perfect hatred. He hates you with a passion and wants to see you suffer in pain under his dominion of torture. As he is extremely sadistic, your downfall and pain will bring him a demented sense of pleasure.
However, in order to achieve his demented plans, he must separate you from God and the promises that God has given you. His goal is to separate you from the purpose for which God created you, because he knows that the achievement of your purpose will bring about his defeat. In this regard he does everything he can to get you to choose the evil of this world (which is all he has to offer) over the good that God has stored up for you. In his attempt for victory the devil deploys trickery, lies and deception to trick you into abandoning your identity, destiny and mission.
The point of all this is that if the devil attempted these things with Jesus then he certainly will try them against you as well. In this regard God has given us a model of what to expect when we seek to enter into the mission that He gave us.
Next we will present the scriptures that demonstrate how the devil tried on several occasions to get Jesus to forfeit His destiny as the Son of God, as the Christ, and His mission to reunite us with the Father. To do this Jesus had to break the dominion that the devil had won over us in the Garden of Eden. So, as we delve into the scriptures regarding spiritual warfare, please take note of the devils tactics as they are likely to be deployed against you when the time comes to enter into the ministry that God created you for.
So, with that said, let us start by looking at the Bible reference that identifies how the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for testing. This testing was designed to validate His worthiness for ministry.
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. Luke 4:1-2
Jesus fasted to strengthen himself spiritually for the battle. While this weakened Him physically it also severed His attachment to the things of the flesh and as a result, heightened His spiritual awareness and closeness to the Father.
In patterning our lives after Jesus we should also separate ourselves from our flesh in times of testing. This is very important because your testing will make you to choose between the desires of the flesh and the leading of the Spirit. Therefore, if you are in a fleshly state how will you resist the temptations of the flesh? However, if you are in a spiritual state through fasting and prayer, you can resist the temptations of the flesh.
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:18 – 21)
In our next posting we will look at the devils attempt to get Jesus to turn a stone into bread, and gain an understanding of what this meant and why this is so important.