Growing up, Kobe Bryant was one of my all-time favorite basketball players. Kobe was known around the NBA for how he studied hours and hours of film of his opponents. His main goal in this was to see how he could manipulate the defense by predicting their next moves. By knowing the enemy’s strategy and habits, he could drop endless buckets on his opponent’s game in and game out. In the same way, Christians have a very real enemy, Satan. We are called to scout out and study his moves so that we know what to do when he attacks. In John chapter 10, Jesus says, “the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.” Satan is trying to ruin our lives to the point of absolute destruction. But how does he do this? In Matthew chapter 4:1-11 we see Jesus go head-to-head with Satan. In these 11 verses, we see Satan tempt Jesus in 3 different ways: The lust of the flesh, the pride of life, and the lust of the eyes. If we think about it, these are the ways Satan tempts us as well. Often, we can’t blatantly see Satan trying to destroy our life; he does it with subtle lies. Ephesians 6:16 says, “in all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” He will usually tempt us with the age-old question, “did God really say…?” and try to cause us to doubt God’s goodness with his wicked lies.
Each time Satan tempted Jesus with a lie, we see Jesus respond with the truth of God’s word. Matthew 1:11 says, “then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” As we battle Satan’s lies with scripture, he will leave us alone. In my own life, I am tempted by Satan’s lies every day. Satan often tempts me with a lie that God is disappointed with me, mad at me, or wants nothing to do with me because of my past. In that moment, I must capture that thought and submit it to the truth of scripture. My favorite verse to cling to in those moments is Romans 8:1 which says, “for now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” As believers, we must be on the offensive and defensive in a Kobe Bryant-esque way; studying our enemy and understanding his playbook so we can believe God’s truth over Satan’s lies
Personal prayer focus
As we go to the Father in prayer, let us ask him to help us to “hide God’s word in our hearts so that we may not sin against him” (Psalm 119:11). As we do this, we will start to be equipped with God’s word so that we can live out the freedom that He offers us.
West Ridge Church Prayer Focus
Today, let’s pray over the West Ridge Care Ministry. So many people are dealing with hurts, habits, and hang-ups that need the sound encouragement of the Word of God as well as the care of other believers. Pray for our Care Ministry staff (John Morgan and Stephanie Turner) as well as our Care Group Leaders and Care Ministry Team.