How to Resist the Devil's Tempting Bait

(Unsplash/Nik Shuliahin)

The devil, taking Him up onto a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this power and their glory, for it has been delivered to me. And I give it to whomever I will. If You, then, will worship me, all will be Yours." And Jesus answered him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve'" (Luke 4:5-8).

The key to catching fish is knowing what kind of bait they like. Once you get the right bait on the hook, the rest is pretty easy. You drop it in front of the fish, they swim up, bite the bait and overlook the hook.

You would think that at some point, the fish would catch on to this ploy. Nope. The fish never learn, and the same old bait-and-hook method works every time.

People are a lot like fish. The devil and his demons figure out what bait we like and dangle it in front of us. Like a fisherman, the devil couldn't care less what bait we prefer. He will gladly give us sex, money, power, success, comfort, drugs, alcohol—pick a preference. Like fish, we continually swim right on up and take the bait, forgetting about the hook.

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In tempting Jesus, Satan loaded every cultural bait on the hook at the same time. We read in Luke 4:5–7, "And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, 'To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.'"

I believe when Satan showed Jesus every temptation in every nation and culture, in an instant, He felt the combined level of temptation that everyone on the earth was facing at that moment. Can you imagine how you would fare under the same circumstances?

Jesus Christ didn't even nibble.

Why? Because He had perspective. Jesus was offered two options in that instant:

Option 1 was the temptation to have no pain and all pleasure in exchange for losing His relationship with God the Father and God the Spirit.

Option 2 was the invitation to have all pain and no pleasure in exchange for keeping His relationship with God the Father and God the Spirit.

Jesus valued His relationship with God the Father and God the Spirit more than literally anything else. When tempted, you need to keep the perspective of Jesus and remember that your most valuable treasure is your relationship with God.

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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