Today’s Scripture: But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

It seems like a no-brainer to follow what God wants for us, but the devil is very clever. He will do whatever it takes to get us away from God’s purpose, and he never takes a vacation. He waits until our greatest victories — Jesus had just been baptized and heard His Father say He was well pleased with Him. The devil comes to us when our bodies are weak because of sickness, hunger, or exhaustion — Jesus had not eaten or drunk anything for 40 days. The devil confronts us when we are alone — Jesus was by Himself in the wilderness.

Satan tempted Christ with shortcuts to glory. He will try to tempt you to take shortcuts as well. Don’t trust him: he wants to destroy everything God is doing in your life. God desires that you use the gifts He’s given you to honor Him and be a blessing to others, but Satan wants you to waste your spiritual gifts. God wants to use you to tell others how they can go to Heaven, but the devil would have you ruin your testimony or get so caught up with your own problems that you never share your faith. God wants you to trust Him to take care of you, while the devil wants you to doubt God and trust yourself.

Jesus had the power to strike back at the devil. He could have spoken a word and had His enemy instantly destroyed. But our Savior never used His own power to resist the devil. He relied upon the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Even in His weak physical condition, He could be strong in the strength of Another.

You may think you’re fighting a losing battle against the devil. Every time you try to follow God’s will for your life, it seems like the devil exploits your weakness and puts temptation in front of you. The longer you fight it, the harder it is to resist. Remember that no matter how powerless you may feel against the devil, you can be victorious if you are strong in the strength of Another.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder