1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
The Subtle Attacks of the Enemy
Satan first attacked when Jesus was hungry. The enemy will attack where we have need: be it food, money, companionship. He will tempt us to step outside of God’s will to appease our appetite. Just as Satan tempted Jesus by telling him to make the stones bread for nourishment, a seemingly helpful piece of advice, Satan will tempt us in the same way. Satan will try to convince us that it is acceptable to steal if we need food so that we don’t starve, or cheat on taxes to keep some money to pay bills, or to have pre-marital sex to keep a boyfriend or girlfriend, because after all, they “really love you.” When we allow ourselves to go down those other roads, we are saying that we don’t trust that God has our situation under control. We are saying that we don’t trust God to provide for us, even though He tells us that He will.
Notice also how Satan doesn’t tell Jesus to pray to the Father to turn the stones into bread. He tells Jesus to do it. Beware the enemy trying to convince us to take matters into our own hands. God has given us talents, abilities, and free will; but, while he wants us to use them, when we step outside His will for us we will truly be on our own.
The world tells us that we can do anything we set our minds to. That idea is straight from the mouth of Satan. The lesson that God wants us to learn is that we can do nothing on our own. We can, however, do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13).