He brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge concerning you, to preserve you,' and 'In their hands they shall hold you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" When the devil had ended all the temptations, he departed from Him until another time. (Luke 4:9-13).
In an interesting moment, a pastor revealed to me that his previous job had been in the United States military as a SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) specialist. As I understand it, he prepared troops to survive if they were stranded in a harsh environment or captured by the enemy.
They would try to psychologically press the trainee to the limits of their humanity to find their breaking point. He went on to explain that every human being has a limit to how much stress and duress they can physically and mentally endure, and once you push a person over that line they break. His job was to find that line and help military personnel push beyond their limits and move that line.
The Bible is, in many regards, a battlefield report of a war that has been raging for all human history. According to the Bible, angels are spirit beings created by God to serve His purposes. However, one angel became proud, which is the root of many sins, and preferred to be his own god rather than worship and obey the real God (Is. 14:11–23; Ezek. 28:12). Tragically one-third of the angels sided with Satan to declare war on God and become the army devoted to destroying God's kingdom (Is. 14:12; Luke 10:18; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 9:1, 12:3–9).
Their rebellion culminated in a great battle against God and His holy angels. Satan and his demons lost and were kicked out of heaven.
The scene shifts to a new battlefield—earth. Tragically our first parents surrendered to Satan and sinned, and ever since everyone has suffered. Every one of us born since the fall has entered into a spiritual war between the kingdom of God and spiritual terrorists seeking only to kill, steal, and destroy.
But God Himself foretold the coming of Jesus to crush Satan (Gen. 3:15). Many years later Jesus was born. Like Adam, He was not openly attacked by the evil one until there was a public ministry calling on His life. To walk with God is to walk into a war. Thankfully God gives us five weapons for spiritual war.
Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor and the author of many books, including Spirit-Filled Jesus, which you can order here. He currently pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family. For all of pastor Mark Driscoll's Bible teaching, please visit markdriscoll.org or download the app. You can download a free devotional e-book from pastor Mark here.
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