Satan's Three Favorite Types of Temptation

 A preview of February's email-only article.

Glenn Carstens-Peters

Did you know I write a monthly article just for email subscribers? It's true!

This month we're discussing the three most effective temptations Satan uses against us, and why they're so effective.

Here's how the article starts:


Have you ever asked God to strengthen your faith? 
I have, but I didn't really think through what I was asking for. How else can he strengthen our faith except by testing it? My faith isn't going to get stronger by magic, but instead by opportunities to exercise it. Had I thought things through, maybe I would have been more reserved in asking for a stronger faith. 
Jesus, in order to sharpen his resolve, focus, and faith went to the wilderness at the prompting of the Spirit in order to be tested. But first he had to fast for forty days. I don't know about you, but I get cranky after fasting for four hours. The Scripture, though, tells us he went a month plus without food. 
As a result, I imagine the first temptation Satan brought upon Jesus must have been pretty enticing. "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread" (Matt. 4:3). 
The tempter is shrewd. He loves setting up these false conditions to cause us to stumble. What's the connection between being the Son of God and turning stones to bread? Well, certainly, the Immanuel would have the power to transform rock to rye, no sweat. But is doing so a condition of being God incarnate? Of course not. But Satan was trying to play both to Jesus's physical weakness (hunger) and to the psychological weakness of humanity (pride) in tempting Jesus to prove his divine status. 
Jesus didn't take the bait. He responded, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Jesus quoted Deuteronomy here, referencing the manna God provided the Israelites in the wilderness. In doing so, he acknowledged God's role as provider and sustainer of life. Just as Moses didn't provide water from the rock, Jesus knew that God would provide the sustenance he needed. 
Realizing he couldn't take advantage of Jesus's hunger, Satan tried another play at his pride.


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One Reason for Encouragement in Dark Times

God can restore all things.

Ben Hershey

If you've ever started reading the book of Job but neglected to finish the book, you're doing yourself a serious disservice.

The last chapter is the most critical.

In then end, what happens? God restores Job. He doubles his fortune, he blesses him with more children, and Job lives a long, happy life.

This resolution is crucial because it demonstrates the divine, omnipotent power of God to set things right. To our modern sensibilities, the last chapter of Job might sound too neat. It might seem like some sort of deus ex machina—an unrealistic ending to the story.