says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This verse shows us that there isn’t a single moment that Satan is not by our side, exploiting all kinds of people and things to entice and tempt us, trying to get us to sink into disaster and evil. For example, in everyday life we frequently encounter temptations regarding money, status and fame, pornography, and so on. Without discerning them, we can fall into Satan’s web at any moment and thereby lose our testimony. So what can we do to shun Satan’s enticement and overcome its temptations?
Let’s fellowship about three paths of practice regarding this matter.
As we are tempted, we must first come in front of God, pray and seek to grasp His will. Only in this way can we break through Satan’s tricks and triumph over its temptations. Thesaid: “And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). God is almighty. When we meet with Satan’s temptation, God is secretly inspecting our each and every move and thought. If we come before God and pray to Him in order to satisfy Him and stand witness, God will surely lead us to understand His will and show us a way of practice.
Just like when Job encountered the temptations of Satan—a mountain of sheep and cattle, his great fortune, and his children and servants were instantly taken away, he never once complained about God, nor did he use his own methods to retrieve the situation. Instead, he prayed and sought God’s will, and in the end, he spoke these words: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). From Job’s experience, we can see that it is of the utmost importance to seek out God’s will in times of temptation. It is because Job had a seeking heart that he understood God’s intentions. And so, not only did he not complain about God when losing everything, but he could see through Satan’s scheme when his wife tempted him to abandon God. Finally, Job stood witness for God in the face of Satan, obtained God’s praise, and caused Satan to be shamed and defeated. On the contrary, the three friends of Job neither prayed to God nor sought His will, but instead, they said many things that were foolish and ignorant according to human ideas, thus suffering God’s loathing. It can be seen that, if we want to stand testimony during Satan’s temptations, praying to God and seeking His will is indeed extremely important.
When Satan’s temptation comes upon us, on the surface it seems like we encounter some people, events, or things, but actually what is behind it is Satan making a wager with God. Only by standing firmly on God’s side can we defeat Satan and stand firm in our testimony. Let’s take a look at the scriptures: “And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing? Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face. And Jehovah said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only on himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah” (Job 1:8-12). We can see from these verses that there are spiritual wars before the advent of facts, that is, temptations coming upon us. Take the temptations that befell Job for example: Satan first made a bet with God and then began to do things, making disasters befall Job. Because Job knew God and had a heart that feared Him, when meeting with these temptations, he didn’t rely on his own brain to research or analyze them, but instead sought out God’s intentions, accepted all from Him, and in the end stood witness for Him. Just assay: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … Thus, in everything you encounter there is a battle, and when there is a battle within you, thanks to your actual cooperation and actual suffering God works within you.”
In these modern times we will meet with many adversities and various temptations from Satan. If we want to be victorious over them, it requires us to pray to God and look at things according to God’s words, instead of relying on our own head to analyze or research them. Only then can we see clearly spiritual warfare, see through Satan’s schemes, and bear firm witness.
We all know that only God’s words are the truth. His words hold authority and power, and are the reality of all positive things. Therefore, only God’s words can enable us to have discernment over all of Satan’s fallacies and lies, and strike back against its trickery. Only by acting according to God’s words can we not lose our way. Just as the Bible records: “And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Then the devil takes him up into the holy city, and sets him on a pinnacle of the temple, And said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God. Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:2-10). These scriptures show us that Satan tested the Lord Jesus three times but each time it fled in defeat in the end. The reason why it repeatedly failed was because the Lord Jesus is the truth, the way and the life—He can see through Satan’s tricks, and even more so His words are the truth, the weapons for countering all of Satan’s cunning schemes. However, if we fail to base our outlook on God’s words, we will fall into Satan’s temptations and suffer harm at its hands. For instance, our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, were enticed and deceived by Satan because they didn’t adhere to God’s words, and as a result, they were cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Nowadays, living in the evil world full of temptations, if we want to overcome the various temptations of Satan, we must adhere to and practice God’s words in all things. This way, Satan will be left without any opportunities to exploit us. Just as God said: “During the work of His abiding provision and support of man, God tells the entirety of His will and requirements to man, and shows His deeds, disposition, and what He has and is to man. The objective is to equip man with stature, and to allow man to gain various truths from God while following Him—truths that are the weapons given to man by God with which to fight Satan. Thus equipped, man must face God’s tests. God has many means and avenues for testing man, but every one of them requires the ‘cooperation’ of God’s enemy: Satan. … It may be said that whether or not man can be saved depends on whether he can overcome and defeat Satan, and whether or not he can gain freedom depends on whether he is able to lift up, on his own, the weapons given to him by God to overcome Satan’s bondage, making Satan completely abandon hope and leave him alone.”
No matter what happens to us, we should come in front of God, frequently pray to Him, seek His will, look at things by standing on His side, clearly see the spiritual warfare, and act in strict accordance with His word. Only in this manner can we receive God’s protection and not fall into Satan’s temptations. Then we can become a witness for God and live before God in freedom.
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