How To Beat The Devil At His Own Game

Text: Luke 4:1-13


As Christians, we all want to live a victorious life, free from the torment, confusion and bondage of sin. We know that Jesus did all that in his earthly days, triumphantly beating the devil at his own game. He made an open show of the devil stripping him of authority and power. Luke chapter 4:1-13 shows us how he won the battle of the minds, overcoming the attacks of the devil.

Scripture Text

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into 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.” 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him 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.” 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” 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,’ 11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ” 13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

Bible Truth & Teaching

I Peter 5:8 says, “the devil, as a roaring lion, roams the Earth, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him steadfastly in the faith.”

The devil is real and he wants to destroy you. His game is to:

  1. Strip all Christians of God’s anointing. See verse 3 above… And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” The trick was to get Jesus to use His own power to prove who he really is. Had he done what the devil wanted, he would have been stripped of God’s anointing, just like Adam was when he chose to move out of God’s will.
  2. Shift their source of power from God to themselves…Jesus refused to operate in his own authority. His will was always submitted to his father, in heaven. He openly said that he did always that which pleases his father. The instant that Adam disobeyed God, he was stripped of God’s anointing. The next step was a life of choice after choice in his own will, void of God’s wisdom and counsel. The source of power to live life was now in his hands, not God’s.
  3. Blur the truth so we apply it incorrectly…Satan used the scripture against Jesus saying, 10 For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ 11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” You can see how the interpretation and application of the scriptures are distorted, blurred and simply wrong. We do not have God’s protection when we are off doing our own thing. We must be sure of the Word and keep it into context when we apply it to our lives.

He tries to capture us in “The Moment” by suggesting that we use our God given authority for our own selfish gain, through The Lust of the Flesh, The Lust of the Eye and The Pride of Life. It is here, in “The Moment”, that he can torment you, steal your dreams and destroy your future.

Luke records the battle between Jesus and the Satan. The devil hit Him at His weakest point (Verse 2 above) but Jesus won the battle of the minds, mastered “The Moment” and gave that victory to every believer, so we can also beat the devil at his own game.

Here’s what Jesus did. It stands as our example and a blueprint for our success:

He made the Word of God the final authority…there are many promises in the Bible related to walking with the Lord. We must discover them, memorize them and know them by heart. If they are the final authority, there is no discussion or confusion as to what to do. There is no compromise.

He used the Word in the moment against the attack. … When we are encouraged to do evil, we can use the Word to resist it, saying or repeating it to the voice in our heads or the voice of someone else that is telling us to do what we know is not acceptable to God.

He did not entertain the illusionary lies of the devil… The devil will often create an illusion in our minds that is rooted in Lust, Greed, Pride or other fleshly appetites. He wants us to chase after the illusion and fall prey to his trickery. However, the Bible tells us to, ”give no place to the devil”. We can see that this verse holds power because if it Is Written, It Is Written for our protection and use. We can speak it forth, hear it and obey it, knowing that it is the truth. There is no room for compromise. No room for ”maybe so or maybe not.”

He knew His authority in God and used it as a weapon…. Jesus knew who he was in God and stood in his authority. Most of us do not know who we are in God and fall into temptation and are defeated. We are the Head, not the tail. We are Joint-Heirs with Christ. We can do all things through Christ Jesus. We are more than conquerors.

Summary Comments

Being filled with the Holy Ghost does not exempt us from temptation. It does however; give us the power to overcome. The devil wants to capture us in “The Moment” where we fall prey to our own fleshly desires and where he rules the course of time. The Lord wants us to put our times in His hands and to be led by His Spirit.

Personal Application

Winning the battle requires Bible study, application of Bible truths, guts to stand in the face of fear, and faith that God is always with you, even in troubled times or adversity.

The choice or road we take, living in, ”The Flesh” or living in, ”The Spirit” will determine the quality of life we will enjoy.

Until Next Time
Rev John Marinelli