There are diverse of circumstances to overcome; so are there numerous of matters that keeps a man in captivity. Among them all, we will be looking at the root of overcoming which is to overcome the devil. We will be doing a comparative study of the first fall of man, which is that of Adam with the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. This analysis will bring forth an understanding of the tactics of the devil in every sphere because they are always the same. Also, we will get to look into how to overcome the devil.
First, let us consider the words of Jesus in John 16:33. He said we should, “be of good cheer for He has overcome the world”. The Statement was made by Jesus to His disciples before His betrayal etc. How does the above statement of Jesus affect us as Christians? 1 John 4:4 makes us understand that “we are of God thus we have overcome the world”. Furthermore, the verse tells us that, “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world”. This tells us that Jesus who has overcome the world, now lives in us, therefore, we also have overcome the world. 1 John 4:4 didn’t tell us that “we will overcome”, it says “we have overcome”.
Looking at the fall of man in the beginning and the temptation of Jesus, we will see that the same tactics were used by the devil. This tactics is recorded in 1 John 2:16 – “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life”. He used this tactics for Eve in the beginning, used it for Jesus, and the devil is still using it till date. We will be looking at Genesis chapter 3 and Matthew chapter 4 side by side.
Lust of the flesh
The first tactic of the devil is to make you desire that which is pleasant to your flesh. He did it to Eve as well as Jesus. Remember that the Flesh and the Spirit are contrary to each other. You can read Galatians 5 to learn/discover more of this. Genesis 3:6 tells us that the first thing Eve considered of the fruit was that it was good for food. This is a clear indication of the lust of the flesh. In the case of Jesus, in Matthew 4:3 came the same tactic telling Jesus to turn stone to bread.
In both cases, that of Eve and Jesus, on the lust of the flesh, it was food. What are the other things that can be considered as lust of the flesh? The lust of the flesh will make one covetous, steal, lie, be addicted to sinful pleasures, twist the Bible to make sin normal among others. The list goes on and on. When something which is not in right standing with the Word of God begins to look right to you, run away. You have to run because they will keep you in doing what does not please God.
Lust of the Eye
In the same Genesis 3:6, after Eve saw that the fruit was good, she also considered it to be pleasant to the eye. When the devil tempted Jesus, in Matthew 4:8-10, he showed Him all the kingdom of the world and the glory of them. Jesus looked with His eye because He was shown.
The devil uses the tactic of the eye to keep people in captivity of never being satisfied; yet acquiring and never satisfied. What do I mean by this? I will explain the above with an illustration. A man who is a womaniser will never the satisfied with his wife. When he sees another lady, he will desire to be with her also. To him he is doing well, but he is not doing well. He is just longing after what he will never be satisfied with. That’s why the Bible tells us to put our focus on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).
Pride of Life
The devil tempted Eve and she desired the fruit because it would make one wise. In the case of Jesus, the devil took Him to a pinnacle, and told Him to cast Himself down. If Jesus had done what the devil desired, it would have been for pride or show case that He is truly the Son of God.
Overcome the Devil
In our time, the devil is also tempting people with these tactics. Many people are falling for it. Think of any kind of evil, it falls under one of the three tactics of the devil. If you find anyone that isn’t, let me know via the comment box below.
The title says, “Overcome the Devil”. 1 John 4:4 says “we are of God, little Children”. The first point to overcome the devil is to be a Child of God. This is by forsaking your life of sin and turning to God to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. You confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Son of God believing that He died, was buried and resurrected for you. As a child of God, you have overcome because the life of Christ is now in you. Remember Jesus has overcome the world. Jesus in you equals overcoming.
It is also important to note that the devil is never happy being defeated so he will keep on fighting with these same tactics which are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Continue studying the Word of God. Pray without ceasing. Do not forsake the gathering of believers. Have your quite time. And always remember that the devil goes to and fro seeking for people to devour but you have overcome the devil because Jesus is in you.
You may have been pondering, “What is a Temptation?”
President at Peculiar Ministers Christian Movement