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Vital signs- Thursday, August 5th, 2021

In Matthew 4 we read about Jesus, after His baptism, heading into the desert, where He fasts for forty days and nights. At that time Satan comes to Jesus to tempt Him.

Because he knew Jesus had to be hungry, Satan told Him to turn stones into bread. Just as he did with Adam and Eve, Satan was trying to get Jesus to do something that wasn’t part of God’s plan for His life. (That’s also what Satan does with you.)

Jesus replied, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4 NIV), quoting Deuteronomy 8:3.

Satan realized his first plan failed, so he attacked Jesus from a different angle. (That is also exactly what Satan does with you.) Same method, new try.

The devil took Jesus to the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem and dared Him to throw Himself off. Satan decided that two can play this game, so he quoted Psalm 91:

“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.’” Matthew 4:6 NIV

(Yes, Satan knows the Bible too.) He wanted to tempt Jesus to prove He was truly God’s Son by trying to force God to show evidence of His love and care. 

Jesus stayed on point and simply answered, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:7 NIV), quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. 

That didn’t work either, so Satan tried a different way of burrowing his way into Jesus’ thinking. (Again, that is exactly what Satan does with you.)

He brought Jesus to a tall mountain, showed Him the kingdoms of the world, and offered to give it all to Him if Jesus would just bow down and worship him. Jesus had now had enough and commanded, “Away from me, Satan!” He then quoted Deuteronomy 6:13: “For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (Matthew 4:10 NIV). 

Shouldn’t we take the same approach that Jesus did?

Three times, in three separate instances and temptations, Jesus exposed Satan’s lie and engaged the truth of God’s Word that He had been memorizing since He was a young Jewish boy. 

So, the first tool I learned that renewed my mind and transformed my life was the Replacement Principle: Remove the lies, replace with truth. Once you grasp this tool, this weapon, you can begin to use it regularly to change your mind and your life.

Jesus’ clear example, detailed for us in Matthew 4, is why it is essential that we know the Bible. As followers of Christ, we prioritize reading the Bible, listen to Bible teaching, join Bible studies, and get God’s Word into our hearts so we can wield the sword against the lies of the enemy.

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