No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. I Corinthians 10:13
From the very beginning of time in the garden of Eden when Satan entered and began his deceptive plan by tempting Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil up until now, all of mankind has had to deal with temptation. The first Adam failed miserably but the last Adam, Jesus, gave us victory forever over the schemes of the devil. Temptation has led many a person to fall into sin and has destroyed millions of lives in the process.
It is inevitable that we will be tempted as we journey with Christ in this life. The Devil's main tool in his quest to snare you is to tempt you with something that is already in your heart. In other words he only has to find something that you have hidden away in the depths of your soul. A secret lust, a traumatic experience or a deep scar that was inflicted by someone who hurt you and was never allowed to heal.
Satan may not be able to read your mind, but he can certainly read your body language and can usually tell in a short time what turns you on and what you are attracted to. We all have secret lusts and locked closets full of things useful to the trapper to seduce us and bring us down into one of his snares. Like a skilled hunter he observes the paths we take and the things we like in order to gain an advantage.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death. James 1:14,15
THE BATTLE IS IN THE MIND
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. II Corinthians 10:3-5
Satan cannot make you do anything, he is a tempter and a deceiver, but the danger lies in his ability to plant thoughts or seeds in your mind to draw you into one of his traps. In order to defeat the enemy one must understand who he is in Christ and be able to take control of his mind.
God has given His people weapons and armor expecting us to learn how to effectively use them against our unseen enemy. The devil doesn't play fair and will take advantage of any weakness that he detects in a person's character and will use it to bring you down. In the previous chapter Samson is an excellent example of a man of God strengthened with His anointing and power, but lacking wisdom, discernment and character to overcome his enemies.
Samson was defeated by his enemies, not by strength, but by the cunning use of character flaws and wounds left unhealed in the big man's heart. Delila played on his pride of thinking his strength was enough, and his scarred emotions to seduce him into her trap that ultimately cost him his life. You cannot defeat the enemy in your own strength, only by the power and wisdom of God. Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord!
FOLLOWING HIS EXAMPLE
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:17,18
Jesus is our example to follow in our quest to overcome temptation, for He was tempted in all things so that He could render aid to us when we are tempted. When He began His earthly ministry He was baptized by John, filled with the Holy Spirit and the heavens opened and God said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."
The Lamb of God, endued with power from on high with a mandate to be led to eventual slaughter for all of mankind entered the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. Jesus fasted as He was led into this barren place of trial by the Spirit as Satan began his dialog of lies and deception trying to bring down the Son of God.
It is interesting that Satan's first attack was to try to get Jesus to doubt who He was and to Whom He belonged. He said to Him, "If You are the Son of God." Was there any doubt? He had just been filled with the Holy Spirit and God audibly said, "You are My beloved Son!"
What audacity to think that he could get the Son of the living God to doubt His heavenly Father's voice and to deny Who He was, but that is the nature of the beast, after all it had worked on millions of unsuspecting souls for centuries before, why wouldn't it work on Jesus? The answer to that question is the fact that Jesus knew who He was and what He was called to do and nothing could convince Him otherwise.
Fear, doubt and unbelief are the Devil's weapons against the believer. Fear is the opposite of faith, doubt clouds our position of who we are in Christ, and unbelief disarms our ability to stand on God's promises. These three things can totally cripple your walk with the Lord and stop you dead in your tracks.
Satan's next trap was to try and seduce Jesus with all the pleasures and riches of the world, a tactic that has destroyed millions of unsuspecting souls and led them down a path of no return. Pride, greed and selfish ambition enter the heart and cause desolation and ultimately, spiritual death as was the case of Adam and Eve.
Jesus stood His ground and used the most powerful weapon in His arsenal against the schemes of the Devil, the word of the Living God! The sword of the Spirit cut right through the devil's plans for His demise and pushed him back only to use a weapon that has destroyed many a Christian's life: religion, at that point Satan took the sword and tried to use it against Jesus, but to no avail.
I said it before, the Devil does not play fair, and he will use anything he can to trap the unsuspecting into one of his diabolical schemes. He had Jesus stand on the pinnacle of the temple and told Him to jump off and the angels of God would catch Him as he quoted the word of God to Him, knowing that people would be amazed at this miraculous stunt and would make Him a superstar, something that has worked over and over in the modern Western church.
False signs and lying wonders have seduced millions into following his scheme to promote the worship of man and not God. False prophets and false christs have deceived the multitudes into making themselves preachers of profit. Demons performing signs and doctrines of deception have corrupted many a man of God and seduced them from the way of righteousness.
Religion is the most deadly trap that can be laid and it takes advantage of man's natural God given need to worship. It is one of Satan's greatest and most successful tools that has worked time and time again. Remember, the Devil was an arch angel and he grew up in church, he knows the word of God better than you and knows more about religion than anyone on the planet, don't be deceived by his schemes.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12