You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, and therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God, and whoever knows God listens to us. Whoever is not of God does not listen to us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:4-6).
The essence of faith is trusting God. Trusting God is always important, but never more important than when we find ourselves tempted. In those moments, the Holy Spirit wants to help us as He helped Jesus continue to trust in God and not succumb to the temptation to test God. This kind of faith surrenders the outcome of events to God and accepts whatever future God determines is best.
For Jesus, this kind of trust meant He would face a very difficult future. He would have to trust the Father and the Spirit for His life of poverty, ongoing vocal public opposition, betrayal by Judas, shameful arrest and brutal execution.
You must understand that being tempted does not mean you are ungodly, unspiritual or unloved by God. Jesus experienced temptation, and you will too. Jesus overcame demonic temptation by living in the continual presence of God, the Holy Spirit.
To defeat a spiritual enemy, you need the energy of the Spirit of God. In 1 John 4:4 it says precisely this: "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." In context, John means that the same Holy Spirit who dwells in the believer and dwelt in Jesus is more powerful than any and every demon, including Satan himself. For this reason, if you maintain a humble spirit, then you allow an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to give you a power you do not have to defeat an enemy you cannot otherwise defeat—by saying no to temptation and yes to triumph.
Christians should not act surprised when trouble comes into their lives. In this life, there's a war between two kings, Jesus and Satan. While the Bible promises us that King Jesus is victorious, we're on a pilgrimage to get to Jesus' eternal kingdom. Along the way, we preach the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit in hopes of setting some war captives free from their bondage to Satan, sin and death. Christians seeking to serve their King Jesus and His kingdom need to know that an eternal vacation is coming, but only after the long war.
Our goal cannot be to become spiritual. Our goal must be to become Spirit-filled.
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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