Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt [test] the Lord your God.’ ”
Satan was trying to persuade Jesus to make frivolous use of God’s resources to prove to Satan that Jesus is the Son of God. I say frivolous because both Satan and Jesus know this fact already. Trying to force God to act, rather than participate in God’s plan as his servant is an attempt to be master over God.
So Satan was trying to cast doubt into Jesus’ mind, about the truth of Jesus’ relationship with God – while Satan internally fears his own eternity because of Jesus. Satan plays the game of a loser, trying to destroy everything that belongs to the winner [God], as Satan’s eternal damnation draws closer.
What are some ways we try to force God to act today?
Doing something in His name, when we actually do not have his authorization – we place God in a position of defending his name, or disciplining us for misusing it – this is testing God.
- Claiming to have heard God’s plan to heal an individual, when perhaps it is only our good intentions wanting it. When we aren’t sure we have heard from God, we must say so, or be quiet. We must not discredit him.
- Initiating actions that place ourselves or others at risk – finances, health, relationships, etc. – without God’s specific instruction. Let us follow God and be responsible with small things, and when he is ready, he may entrust us with others – but we should not jump forward in responsibility and authority without him.
Satan challenges our self-doubt to get us to act out of pride and ego – and when we fail to be humble and follow God’s plan, we are damaged or destroyed, along with the credibility of our witness. Satan can destroy an entire church which is prouder of its American Rights, than humbly loving the Lord God and their neighbor.