In Matthew 4:1-11 the devil tempted Jesus with 3 basic temptations that we all will face in different forms. Unlike Jesus, humanity has given in and it has ruined our lives. Only in Jesus do we have hope of rescue from the evil. The first temptation was to be motivated by satisfying physical needs ahead of satisfying spiritual need guided by the word of God. The second was to misuse the Word of God to manipulate God rather than living by his Word. The third was selling out to the devil in exchange for power and prestige. How many Christians neglect the word of God for physical things? How many read the word of God but twist it to make it say what they want? How many are tempted to do wrong for the sake of money and power?
Are we suspicious when a preacher shouts exciting promises and a kind of hysteria takes over? We should be. Mass hypnosis also occurred at Hitler’s rallies and that certainly was not “anointed preaching.” Satan also made great swelling promises in the Temptation of Christ. The hollow promises offered to Jesus included a miracle, a foolish risk and wealth. Sound familiar? Similar promises often come from deceptive sources disguised as good. If the source is not God, the promise is without guarantee. If someone tells us to act presumptuously without examining biblical principles, be very suspicious. We live by every word of God. If someone promises God’s protection in a risky, foolish act, be leery. We ought not tempt God. If someone promises great things for worshiping in strange ways, be cautious. We worship and serve only God.