As many are participating this week in a focused season of fasting and prayer leading up to Pentecost Sunday, I’m reminded of what Jesus faced as He ended a significant time of fasting, as He was led by the Spirit into the desert. Whatever the physical challenges that fasting created, His spiritual sensitivities were off the charts. In Matthew 4, the devil went right after Him, attempting to undermine the very foundation that would set the stage for His prophetic and prosperous ministry:

  1. Tell this stone to become bread was an opportunity, right from the beginning, for Jesus to misuse the power and authority that had been entrusted to Him. Satan appealed to the very real need of satisfying Christ’s hunger, while Jesus stayed focused on the greater mission. Trading the future for the present will never yield good results!
  2. If you worship me, it will all be yours was a very interesting offer since Jesus had helped create the world which now had become the devil’s lair. What had been lost through the disobedience of one man (Adam) would only be regained by the obedience of one man (the Second Adam). Jesus would stick to the plan from above! The path that you choose to get to your destination is as important as the destination.
  3. Throw yourself down. The devil goes for the jugular. He wants Christ to "prove" something. Jesus will not take the bait. He will not get drawn into a pattern of needing to respond and justify who He is or what He’s about. Who is directing your life? The voice to which you ultimately respond will have life-changing effects!

In fact, isn’t it interesting how Christ’s answers repeatedly are a lot shorter than the devil’s suggestions? All I know is that at the end of the day, the devil left and the angels came!

Join with many others this week as we contend for a rise of spiritual effectiveness, while staying alert to the ever-increasing schemes of the evil one. May God grant you strength, discernment and courage as you put both hands to the plow and contend for His purposes in and through your life and ministry.

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NKJV)

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By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor