I spoke on this topic with my church tonight and hope that this message blesses your Spirit. If you want to be successful in life, you have to move by principle, and I mean by Godly principles that can be best understood through the life of Jesus. Jesus shows us so many examples of how we ought to live, so take a look at this on your own and do some soul searching as you pursue greatness in your life. Amen! 😀
Luke 4:1-13 (NKJV) – Satan Tempts Jesus
4 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into[a] the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him[d] all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
9 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. 10 For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”[h]
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”[i]
13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
When you are pressing through for your blessings in life, when you are in pursuit of elevation or promotion, and going to the next level, you must understand that there is a battle you face against your destiny. This battle is against the adversary (the devil).
You have to understand who your adversary is and how he operates in order to overcome his schemes.
We are praying and fasting not as a religious exercise, but as a spiritual exercise to develop emotional strength, wisdom, discernment in order to grow in Knowledge, Power and Faith to achieve desired results. It takes a lot of work to remain focused, and through prayer and fasting is where your spirit becomes sharpened to deal with things ahead of you that you would not have seen had you not prayed and fasted.
It’s time to understand what it is that you are dealing with when you are in pursuit of elevation in your life.
In Luke 4:2 – Jesus was tempted for 40 days and nights by the devil – this means that your enemies do not rest until they take you down. Christians are sleeping while their enemies are plotting for their downfall day and night. You cannot afford to take on a passive approach in your daily affairs when the enemies of your destiny do not rest until they have achieved the destruction of your destiny.
However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
My question to you is, are you still sleeping?
In Luke 4:3 – The devil undermines Jesus by mocking him and attempting to see if Jesus has an area of pride to prove himself and test his loyalties – Do not get suckered into this. You will have people in your life who will mock what you are about and will attempt to get you to prove your self-worth by provoking you to prove who you are in an arrogant way. This provocation is really just a method to get you to act out of pride and arrogance which could turn people off of you, who could have potentially been your destiny helpers. Be still and know that this can cause you to sin and do something outside the will of God if you get suckered into proving your identity and self-worth just because someone mocked you. Try not to be moved by the provocation of your enemies who rile you up to puff yourself up with pride and arrogance to cause you to miss opportunities with people who want to help you move to the next level.
In Luke 4:4 – Jesus didn’t need to prove himself – He already knew who he was and therefore responded with dignity and grace and told the devil plainly that “listen, you…I know what you’re trying to get me to prove but I’ll tell you something, you need to remember what Your Creator (God) has said and commanded you to do” (this is my paraphrasing what has happened) and therefore, Jesus turned the conversation around to pinpoint the enemy’s lack of obedience to do what the Lord has commanded all creation to do and that is to live by every Word of God. The Devil could not come with a good come back on that point because he knows very well how rebellious he is to God the Father. This is where Christians need to learn to order their conversations right. Just because someone is undermining you, doesn’t mean that it gives you the license to respond with contempt. Learn to wisen up and respond with wisdom and grace. Order your conversations right and act with humility.
In Luke 4:5-7 – The devil takes Jesus to a high place and claims that he has authority over all the things that any man/woman would desire to have and that if he works and acknowledges the devil by giving him praise, he could have a share of what he has as well as a promise to this allegiance – Listen, do not be fooled by people who try to trick you out of your rightful place of promotion by getting you to side with them and work for them like a gopher to make them look good. I am not talking about rightful submission to authority here. I’m talking about those who scheme to get you to undermine the “right authority” by causing you to take a side that is rebellious in nature in order to achieve gains and/or promotion by dishonest means.
To take this into context, try and imagine this: Have you ever been in a workplace where a supervisor undermines the authority of the manager who you report to and gets co-workers to side with the supervisor in order to gang up together to attempt to overthrow and get the manager fired so that they can take the manager’s place by bribing people into being disobedient through lies and slander (accusations) in order to receive promotion at the promises that the supervisor makes as a form of a pact, or allegiance. “If you do this for me, I’ll help you get the promotion you deserve…”
The devil attempted to do the same thing with Jesus. But how did Jesus respond?
In Luke 4:8 – Jesus told Satan to get behind him – Sometimes you need people to get behind you so that you don’t lose focus on what’s ahead of you. You can shove such people who are there to distract you “one side to the back” (a Nigerian saying) if they are in your face. Jesus refused to entertain the conniving nature of his enemy to be disobedient to the True authority Jesus submits to, which is God the Father. In the same way, you may face people in life who will try to get you to be rebellious and cause you to attack the leadership, to undermine and scheme against the heads of your company or church and overthrow managers to steal their places of authority by dishonest actions and slander. This also is a test of where your loyalties lie.
God does not approve of rebellion in any fashion, so why should you side with the devil and become associated with the oppressor? You will find that those that help such conniving people become a slave to the oppressor who never intended to fulfill their blanket lies and promises. Children of God, it is important to understand the meaning of submission to the right authority. Where do your loyalties lie? Do not entertain people that get you to rebel. You will find a tight noose around your neck if you fall for such schemes in your life. This is a trick the adversary uses every time to get you into bondage. Be wise to rebuke those who attempt to get you to undermine the leadership in your church, your workplace, your family or in any other area of your life. You will preserve your soul if you understand the meaning of submission.
In Luke 4:9-11 – The devil attempts yet again for Jesus to prove himself, but in this time, he wants Jesus to take a huge risk to prove that his identity is indeed the “Son of God” based on his qualifications – Sometimes your enemies will be able to guess and see where you are heading in your destiny, and they will try to trick you into proving yourself quickly by taking a high and unnecessary risk just to prove that you are indeed what they suspect you are in your journey of life. They entice you to seek recognition concerning your identity and abilities by pursuing to get noticed in the wrong way.
Do not be fooled into seeking recognition for the wrong purpose. This will undermine your integrity.
Let us take an example to understand what is going on here: Say for example, you know that you are good at public speaking and your boss acknowledges it and has given you the responsibility to be his speech writer. You are then invited to listen to your boss speak at a function but a co-worker thinks it is unfair that you aren’t being acknowledged for the numerous speeches that you have written for your boss to speak. This co-worker then tells you, to hijack the function and embarrass your boss by letting everyone know that you wrote that speech for him and that your boss doesn’t know how to do speeches without your help. By doing this, it is assumed that people will give you praise and acknowledge you for your skills and this will draw away the attention from your boss and put you in the spotlight. But the catch is, if you listen to your sly co-worker’s advice, you will find out by the very next day that you are fired and without a job because you undermined your integrity by undermining your boss in your pursuit of recognition for promotion.
Do not be provoked into seeking recognition and acknowledgement the wrong way.
The adversary is always provocative, and malicious in what they try to get you to do in order to miss the mark in your destiny.
How did Jesus respond to that provocation?
In Luke 4:12 – Jesus responded by rebuking the devil and telling him you can’t tempt me to go outside the will of God. In the same way, if anybody attempts to get you to seek recognition in the wrong way, you should tell them where to go and not bother you because you want to hold on to this beautiful thing called INTEGRITY! Do not allow people to cause you to miss opportunities for advancement by making you undermine authority, and doing things dishonestly in order to achieve promotion or elevation. Smarten up and do not give room for nonsense.
In Luke 4:13 – The devil departed from Jesus after tempting him for the last time and will wait for another opportune time to tempt him again to go outside the will of God – Your enemies will try and try again to get you to do something wrong that will make you miss the mark. Sin is defined as “missing the mark”. You don’t want to miss the mark in your destiny, so as we pray and fast, seek God to give you wisdom to know what to do, strength to withstand temptations to do something outside the will of God concerning your life, discernment to identify who your enemies of your destiny are, knowledge to handle every situation with God’s grace, and the will to remain focused on the goal without being distracted.
You need God to help you with every attack that may come from the enemies of your destiny. It is not “if” the enemy comes that you need God’s help, it’s “when”. You will face obstacles; you will face trials but you must determine within yourself to hold onto your integrity. Jesus demonstrates that you can strengthen yourself through prayer and fasting to face such schemes that occur in your life. This battle is won when you operate in the realm of the Spirit of God. Your own might and power is not sufficient to handle each attack that comes your way. Seek God and He will show you the way to gain success the right way. Put your Faith and Trust in God.
So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.
Don’t make prayer and fasting a religious exercise, it is your spiritual warfare weapon for success.
Philippians 3:12-16 – Pressing Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.