Temptation's Tactics - Outsmart & Resist
The devil has long since been canceled out of the equation between God & mankind. And, like any relationship, the only trespassing option is through temptation. A simple, holy, stare at temptation's congruent patterns will quickly become a shield of wisdom to Satan's tactics. So let’s do it! Let's eavesdrop on the scene where Jesus Himself was tempted by Satan:
"And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God …(let's pause right here!)”
Temptation will always start out with a confrontational doubt: one perception trying to bully another one. It’s the origin of peer pressure and oppression. It is a secular faith simply hoping for a weak will.
The reality is Satan already knew. The real goal was to get his foot in the psychological door, and lure the animation of truth with a dare. That's right! Temptation, simplified, is just a "Psst...come 'er," to an isolated (independent) truth, inviting self-perception into a game that (1) it doesn’t have to play and, (2) wouldn’t even benefit from. Can you imagine a blind man taunting an African-American saying, "If you’re really black, than prove it by [stereotype.]” Temptation wins if the motivation to battle an insult with proof is strong enough. However, temptation looses when one remembers they're never responsible for what tempters do or do not "see.” Temptation prays for (or preys on) victims who are "blind" to this tactic!”
‘Okay... from the top!”
'And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matthew 4:3).'
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the devil waited 40 days before he aimed his temptation (Matthew 4:2). And I don’t believe this delicious method for proof was a miscellaneous pick. Can you guess how long the body can go without food? You got it! Let’s solve this equation:
Tempters use your own atmosphere and physiology against you for better accuracy. Whether it be sexual, violent, or political, this is the game plan behind it: to make your own nature its own Judas. This way a betrayal of righteousness still at least feels right (calming the battle within). That's why a fighter burglarizes your comfort zone, or a bribe is spontaneous. Always remember regret has a short deadline.
TACTIC # 2 (Matthew 4:5-6):
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, ‘He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’
Like a jealous ex-lover, who's been dumped (or fallen from Heaven), here's the goal: turn the new relationship (God and Man) against itself! Try to contaminate the bond. Either (1) facilitate sin toward God's law (through the person), or (2) create distrust in that faithful man toward God, which leads to sin. Ultimately sin is anything that distances man and God. This whole spiritual project of Satan translates, "If I can't be happy, then you guys can't be happy either!" And there's a real convenience to this plan since the devil (or tempter) is an invisible culprit. Temptation two aims for the slightest opening of man's unawareness, while being completed shielded by the tempter's absence.
The scripture Satan referenced (Psalms 91:11-12) was just as real as his tactic: (1) Relocate a person to an unstable predicament to heighten anxiety, (2) Feed them reasonable knowledge to adopt and (3) make sure the obedient reflex pronounces disobedience in the real relationship. The ‘pinnacle of the temple’ symbolizes that unstable predicament in this case. And the goal: to get the person to "think fast.” Remember this next time you notice a tempted man saying, "it just happened!” or "and-the-next-thing I knew...” Strategically, evil opportunities hate the traffic of a person going for a walk, taking a deep breath, and expressing how they truly feel. How many poets do you know constantly falling victim to temptation? This is because sin needs a momentum more than you need whatever it's offer was (James 1:19).”
What's the scariest thing about temptation number two? Its effectiveness depends on ignorance! And this is a huge problem in a world where designated thinkers compete with self-acquired wisdom. If temptation catches them without their minister, lawyer, or therapist, they are completely vulnerable to a half-truth with serious consequences. Consider the Pharisees who literally wore the scriptures like ribbons. Yet the devil sold them doubt and comfort when the Messiah was right in front of them. Not every shepherd should lead. Not every suggestion should prevail automatically.
TACTIC # 3 (Matthew 4:7-8):(Galatians 5:22-23]
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Temptation always advertises a shortcut to fortune and fame, with a visual of having it all. The devil may be crafty, but his recipe for temptation is so consistent and simple, it’s laughable. Wisdom can easily hack into his whole system, and with pleasure.
First, the perception of "wealth” desired is a counterfeit one. Being rich is simply having artificial power in this universal perception, while life is just a happiness contest. So wealth and happiness, by default, are parallel perceptions. They just criss-cross through public opinion, that's all. But they don't get away with this in the Bible: "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (Luke 16:13).” So here's the devil's vicarious and unholy objective: the sell man on another definition of joy and life. And this is more necessary than you know, my friend, because joy is owed exclusively by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). You think God's Spirit is gonna share its stocks with a blaspheming, supernatural, has-been? Not likely! So Satan needs to spell joy: "M-O-N-E-Y" or "P-O-W-E-R" and sell this idea to mankind. This is his only shot to manipulate and compete! And the people who fall for this, are anointed to cause peer-pressure to everyone's happiness goal. But always remember, "Life is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think (Horace Walpole, 1797)."
As the naive "fall down and worship” an artificial power, they become a starving Esau for Jacob-like trickery. And corrupt businesses are aware that by obtaining money, they own their appetite for the monetary "stew" sought after in (a tricked) society. In fact, provided they have enough wealth, they own the ability to echo Satan's proposal "fall down and worship me," all for the bargain price of your "birthright."