Saturday, March 28, 2015

This Victory is Ours.

Just a quick synopsis of the second temptation.  Satan took Him to the pinnacle of the temple and quoted scripture to Him.  Satan said, "If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written--"He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee:  And in their hands they shall bear Thee up, Lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone."  First, he uses the word, 'IF' which was an expression of doubt that Jesus was the Son of God and Jesus knew by this little word that it was not an angel of light and He did not succumb to Satan's insinuations.

The tempter thought to take advantage of Christ's humanity, and urge Him to presumption.  But while Satan can solicit, he cannot compel to sin.  He can never compel us to do evil.  He cannot control minds unless they are yielded to his control.  The will must consent, faith must let go its hold upon Christ, before Satan can exercise his power upon us.  But every sinful desire we cherish affords him a foothold.  Every point in which we fail o meeting the divine standard is an open door by which he can enter to tempt and destroy us.  And every failure or defeat on our part gives occasion for him to reproach Christ.

When Satan quoted the promise, "He shall give His angels charge over Thee," he omitted the words, "to keep Thee in all Thy ways;"  that is, in all the ways of God's choosing.  Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience.  While manifesting perfect trust in His Father, He would not place Himself, unbidden, in a position that would necessitate the interposition of His Father to save Him from death.  He would not force Providence to come to His rescue, and thus fail of giving man an example of trust and submission.

Jesus declared to Satan, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." These words were spoken by Moses to the children of Israel when they thirsted in the desert, and demanded that Moses should give them water, exclaiming, "Is the Lord among us, or not?"  Exodus 17:7.  God had wrought marvelously for them; yet in trouble  they doubted him and demanded evidence that He was with them.  In their unbelief they sought to put Him to the test.  And Satan was urging Christ to do the same thing.  God had already testified that Jesus was His Son; and now to ask for proof that He was the Son of God would be putting God's word to the test,--tempting Him.  And the same would be true of asking for that which God had not promised. It manifest distrust, and be really proving, or tempting, Him.  We should not present our petitions to God to prove whether He will fulfill His word, but because He will fulfill it; not to prove that He loves us, but because He loves us.   "Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."  Hebrews11:6

But faith is in no sense allied to presumption.  Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption.  For presumption is Satan's counterfeit.  Presumption also claims the promises, but used them as Satan did, to excuse transgression.  Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands.  Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequence of their sin.  It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted.  Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.

Often when Satan has failed of exciting distrust, he succeeds in leading us to presumption. If he can cause us to place ourselves unnecessarily in the way of temptation, he knows that the victory is his. God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience; but to depart from it is to venture on Satan's ground.  There we are are sure to fall.  The Savior has bidden us, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."  Mark 14:38.  Meditation and prayer would keep us from rushing unbidden into the way of danger, and thus we should be saved from many a defeat.

(Do you see how to have victory over Satan?  By the word of God.  Memorize and use the promises of God to defeat Him.  It really does work.  God does give us the victories that we need, just when we need them.  Grandma Joan) Taken from chapter 13 of Desire of Ages.

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