Christ’s temptation: If thou be the Son of God
“And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
When we were growing up as little children, one of our propeller statements that puts almost any child our age into action is one that looks like what the devil said to Christ, “if thou be the Son of God…”
This we do to provoke or dare somebody into doing something negative especially, which more than an average time would result into a fight between the person who made the statement and the one trying to defend his or herself.
Christ, having being in the wilderness (see the children of Israel’s experience in the wilderness of Zin) for forty days and forty nights afterward hungered when the enemy (Satan) came to put forth a contest before him. The truth is, Christ who is God himself need not prove to the devil his superiority or Deity before it will be sealed that He is the Son of God. We know from the Scriptures that when he was baptized by John, immediately he came out of the water, the heavens were opened and the Spirit of God lighting in form of a dove upon him, said, “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” A direct confirmation from God the Father. And Satan, who is a spirit being is quite aware of that too (see James 2:19). He knew there was no debate about the fact that Christ was the Son of God but he came to do something even worse.
His coming to tempt Christ to command stones to become bread was the quickest way to spoil his days long spent in the wilderness without food and water, receiving grace and power to fulfil that one important ministry through exaltation of the Spirit man and bringing the flesh to subjection. Even though Christ will of a truth get something to eat at the end of his fastings, – (Read: The power of proper prayer with fasting) – it wasn’t going to be through the use of his divine power to instantly gratify his hunger craving, doing so privately in the wilderness. But thanks to God, he defeated the devil not just in that temptation but in all and all…
“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.”
This is a call to believers today to know who they are in Christ. Are there not times we have lost out on some battles because we try to prove to the devil one thing or the other when he comes to challenge us like he did to Christ? Remember, he is always looking for something else beyond the statement he would usually make at the surface. His problem was not that Christ can’t turn a stone into bread but that he should lose spiritual alignment with the Father, thereby shifting him from fulfilling the will of God by rebelling. Rebellion, which is the devil’s very nature is what he always seek to impart in the life of those he come to tempt. Either to make them rebel against their spouse, against their parents or leaders, authorities or against God.
Know who you are in Christ
Christ knew whom he is. He is the Bread of life. So how would Christ, the Bread of life, who came to give himself for us that we might eat and never hunger, again start turning stones into bread because of hunger? We should not be ignorant of the devices of the devil. Christ has given us his word as a sword with which to defeat the enemy, but we must realise his craftiness and cunning nature. His aim when he come is far more than we can understand at the spot, except the Spirit of God help us see his wickedness, only then would we be able to rebuke him like Christ did. So our victory will lie on us being in tune with God’s Spirit and filled with the same in other to resist the tempter. Also, we must know what God has said concerning us and learn to bring our fleshly desires into the subjection of the Spirit through prayers, meditation (on His word) and self denial. If a professing child of God is ignorant of these things, how would he or she be an over comer? We must constantly affirm to the enemy what has been written concerning us.
Knowing your position in Christ
This is the will of God, that we know our position in him. He has given us his written word and his holy spirit that teaches us the things concerning that Holy One. We must continuously look at our lives in his mirror to know his mind towards us. But those that will not avail themselves to know God through his word will remain babes ever ready to be deceived by the wicked one.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” — 2 Peter 3:18
A final note
There is a cadre that exist in the spiritual realm. Those at the bottom are principalities and powers. Next to them are rulers of darkness of this world. Next is spiritual wickedness in high places, and those at the top are the Believers (you may also want to read: The attributes of a Christian). The believers rule because God is the head of all principality and all power, “and [we] are complete in Him. — Colossians 2:10
This is the believers’ exalted position in Christ because he has raised them up to sit in heavenly places together in Christ Jesus. So when next the enemy speaks things contrary to what God has spoken concerning you or tries to put you into an unnecessary contest, use the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God to bring him to subjection. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
“…All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, GET THEE HENCE, SATAN: FOR IT IS WRITTEN, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE.”