The Bible 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). From this, we can see that Satan is always by our side and it tries every means possible to use the people, matters and things around us to entice and tempt us, to make us fall into mischief and sin. Just as in our daily life, we are usually faced with the temptations of wealth, status, reputation, porn and so on. And we can easily give into the temptation, and thus fall into Satan’s trap and lose the testimony. So what should we do to keep us away from Satan’s seduction, overcome the temptation of Satan and break free from sin? Next let’s take a look at three paths to practice.
1. Facing Satan’s temptations, only by praying to God, seeking and grasping His will, can we penetrate Satan’s plots.
When faced with temptations, we often get into a muddle and don’t know how to deal with them suitably. At the crucial moment, firstly, we should come before God to seek and ponder His will and pray for His help. Only through God’s enlightening and guidance can we understand His intention, see through Satan’s plots and overcome temptations. The Lord Jesus said, “And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). God is almighty, omniscient and omnipotent. When we face Satan’s temptations, God can see all this. Meanwhile, He observes our attitude and sees whether we’ll seek His will and whether we want to satisfy Him pertaining to what happens to us. If we want to satisfy God to stand in testimony to Him and if we come before God to pray to Him, then God will reveal His will to us and point out the way to practice for us.
Just like Job, when he was tempted by Satan, and suffered a sudden loss of a mountain of sheep and cattle, all his great fortune, his sons and daughters, and his servants, he didn’t say anything but first came before God and prayed: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). We can learn that in Job’s experiences, when Satan’s temptation came upon Job, he first prayed and sought for God. Then he got to understand God’s will, realizing that it was permitted by God that he encountered this, and that God gave, and God had taken away. So he was able to willingly obey God. Even when his wife asked him to forsake God, he could see through Satan’s scheme and immediately struck back at it, rather than follow his wife to say words of rebelling and resisting against God. In the end, he stood firm in his testimony, putting Satan to shame and defeating it. Yet, by contrast, Job’s three friends didn’tor seek God’s will, but looked for external causes. As a result, they misunderstood Job and said many things that are foolish and ignorant, thereby causing disgust in God. This makes us see that praying to God and seeking His will is of grave importance to man’s overcoming Satan.
I once saw these words of God: “After God created mankind and gave them spirits, He enjoined them that if they didn’t call out to God, then they would not be able to connect with His Spirit and thus the “satellite television” from heaven would not be received on earth. When God is no longer in people’s spirits there is an empty seat left open for other things, and that’s how Satan seizes the opportunity to get in. When people contact God with their hearts, Satan immediately goes into a panic and rushes to escape. Through mankind’s cries God gives them what they need, but He does not “reside” within them at first. He just constantly gives them aid because of their cries and people gain hardiness from that internal strength so that Satan dare not come here to “play” at its will. This way, if people constantly connect with God’s Spirit, Satan dare not come to disrupt” (“Interpretation of the Seventeenth Utterance”). Obviously, it is through our sincere praying or calling out to God that He helps us to get rid of Satan’s temptation. For example, in the case of Job, he saw through Satan’s schemes relying on God, and then said just one thing, which made Satan dare not tempt him any more. Therefore, if we cry out to God with our heart and rely on Him, Satan will rush to escape; yet if we merely do things in our own way rather than pray to God and depend on Him, we will never see through Satan’s deceit, nor will we receive God’s care and protection, but instead, we can be easily taken captive or even be devoured by Satan. Take when Samson was tempted by a beautiful woman, for example. As he didn’t pray to God and depend on Him, he failed to see through Satan’s deceitful schemes on time, and ended up being exploited and afflicted by Satan amidst trials. But later, in his fight with the Philistines, when he relied on God, he gained the power given by God and defeated them. So, we can see that if we want to stand through the test, we must pray to God and rely on Him, only this way can we live under God’s care and protection.
2. When encountering Satan’s temptations, we should see clearly the battle in the spiritual realm. Don’t analyze and examine. Only by accepting it from God, can we defeat the temptations of Satan.
When Satan’s temptations come upon us, externally, we encounter some people, matters and things. Actually, behind the scenes, there is a spiritual war, in which Satan is making a bet with God. Only by seeing clearly the spiritual war and standing firm on the side of God to satisfy God’s demands, can we defeat Satan completely. Let’s read the following verses, “And the LORD 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 the LORD, 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 the LORD 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 the LORD” (Job 1:8-12). From this, we see that when we are faced with a temptation, behind it, a spiritual battle comes first and then the temptation comes upon us. Just like the temptation that happened to Job, behind it, Satan was making a wager with God in the spiritual realm and the temptation came upon him. Then, Satan began to do things and made the scourges befall Job. However, by our own eyes, we only saw that Job was robbed of his wealth by a band of gangsters and lost his sons and daughters, but we couldn’t see at all that Satan was making a bet with God. Because Job had some knowledge of God’s sovereignty, when encountering the temptation, he didn’t analyze or examine through his mind. On the contrary, he sought and understood God’s will and saw clearly the spiritual battle, finally standing in his testimony and obtaining God’s praise. Just as God discloses, “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 there is a battle, and when there is a battle within you, thanks to your actual cooperation and actual suffering God works within you. Ultimately, inside you are able to put the matter aside….” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”).
Nowadays, we also encounter many setbacks and various temptations. If we want to overcome Satan’s temptations, we need to look at things according tofrom the spiritual world, and should not analyze or examine relying on our own minds. Only in this way can we penetrate Satan’s tricks and stand witness for God.
3. Facing Satan’s temptations, we must hold on to God’s word, firmly obey the truth and be loyal to God. Thus we can counterattack against Satan’s plots and leave Satan utterly humiliated and defeated.
We all know that only God’s word is the truth. God’s words, with authority and might, are realities of all positive things. Therefore, only God’s word can make us distinguish all Satan’s heresies to counterattack Satan’s schemes. Only by going by God’s words can we not lose our way or be fooled by Satan. 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). Satan tempted thefor three times, but every time it fled in defeat. The reason that Satan failed was because the Lord Jesus is the truth, the way and the life. Not only could the Lord see through Satan’s tricks, but what He said is all the truth and a good weapon to counter all Satan’s tricks. On the contrary, if we can’t see things by God’s words, we will fall into Satan’s temptations and be afflicted by it. For instance, because our forefathers, Adam and Eve, didn’t hold on to God’s word, they were tempted and afflicted by Satan. Thus they were driven from the Garden of Eden and lived in the curse.
Today, we live in this evil and degenerated world. If we want to overcome Satan’s various temptations, we have to practice God’s word in all things and submit to the truth. In this way, Satan has no way to take advantage of us. Just as God’s words say, “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 candepends 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. If Satan abandons hope and relinquishes someone, this means that Satan will never again try to take this person from God, will never again accuse and interfere with this person, will never again wantonly torture or attack them; only someone such as this will truly have been gained by God” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”).
We see that no matter what things we face or when we encounter them, only when we come before God to pray to Him always, seek His will in all things, see things on the side of God, see clearly the battle in the spiritual realm, and do not analyze or examine with our minds, but go by God’s word strictly and learn to obey the truth, can we be protected by God from falling into Satan’s cunning schemes and temptations, can we stand witness, escape Satan’s sieges and live with freedom and relief before God!
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