“Wait, what?” You might be thinking. “Satan is leading my life? No way!” But to believe that you can never – or will never- be led by demonic influence, is to deceive yourself of the true revelation of Scripture.
Redemption has to do with being ‘redeemed’ from a situation that was destitute; even death by resurrection.
Salvation has to do with being ‘saved’ from sin.
So how are either of these possible realities for us today if we weren’t first susceptible to, and carried along by demonic leading at times in our life?
But instead of swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction and living in fear of falling prey to demonic designs, Jesus instead gave us a powerful example of how by trusting in God’s Spirit in us, we can identify and challenge Satanic ploys against our life with the Word of God and live out a fearless confident and even joyful profession of faith even when situations seem destitute and trying which can have the tendency to lead us into sin.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan *and was LED BY THE SPIRIT into the wilderness,*
*THE DEVIL LED HIM (Jesus) up to a high place* and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.
*THE DEVIL LED HIM (Jesus) to Jerusalem* and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
Even though *God allowed* satanic leading in Jesus life during this trial of testing known today as the “Testing in the Wilderness” (as Satan is powerless to do anything against us unless he is first given expressed permission by God – *Job 1:12*) Jesus’ preparation to be victorious against any such leading resulting in sin was always rooted in an authoritative use of a well reasoned and balanced understanding of the entire counsel of Scripture.
These are the three responses Jesus retorts in the wilderness when satanic leading undoubtedly ‘attempted’ to direct him towards sin:
1. “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
2. “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
3. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Please note the escalation in Jesus’ responses:
First, a firm footing on ALL of God’s Word as the foundation of His faith
Secondly, a well balanced reasoning of Scripture against Scripture. (e.g Yes it says *this* but not to the neglect of *that*) was his defence against unbalanced demands “supposedly” of God.
Lastly, an authoritative demonstration of a firmly established sense of identity *over Satan* by commanding him, *”Away from me Satan!”* and a reminder of Whose glory he was living for alone – God.
For we are NOT fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
But what happens when it becomes God’s design for you to glorify Him by not only your life, but also, by death – as Jesus and eleven out of His twelve disciples did?
The Apostle Paul certainly recognized this when he received the prophetic Word from Agabus in the book of Acts:
After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”
When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, *but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Fast forward two thousand years. Imagine going to someone in your congregation on a Sunday morning who professes to follow Jesus and giving them a prophetic word like that!
They might rebuke you as demonic.
They might say, “I’ve tested the spirits and this is not from God!” (which ‘could’ be true)
But my point is that true wisdom that comes from above is *impartial*, and the Apostle knew it.
He recognized that this Word was exactly as the prophet said it was, *from the Holy Spirit.* But he also recognized that it didn’t mean that the men who would carry it out were from God.
Paul was in essence going to be led by a satanic plot – but for the glory of God, because through it he would show that to suffer and die for Christ was greater by far than to live the few years of temporal life here on this earth without Him.
Do we see Christ as this precious to us?
I know many men and women who would be willing to die to protect the temporal lives of their children, but who would not so urgently even give a second thought to dying for the One who alone has the power to give eternal life.
Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Since we know that those who trust in the Lord shall never be put to shame, (Psalm 25:3) both in the good as well as the bad that stands before us each day, may we all grow just a little bit deeper in our devotion as we learn to,
Trust ♔ Jesus!