Against Manipulation & Control

“Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve’”” (Matthew 4:10).

When Jesus was led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted, the devil tried different methods of tempting Him. His last attempt was to try to convince Jesus to bow down and worship him. Imagine the devil trying to convince the son of God that he was worthy of his worship. Jesus Christ on earth was the manifestation of God in the trinity. In order to exist in this realm, he had to take on humanity which included being tempted. The devil knew that if he could tempt Jesus into idolatry, then God’s plan for redemption would be thwarted.

“And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me””(Matthew 4:9). The devil tried to tempt Jesus with material possession. He is the god of the world and this is the lure which many people fall prey to. There is nothing wrong with wealth, but access to wealth through the world system, places us in the control of the devil. Since creation, the devil wants nothing more than to be in control of mankind. “He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden”” (Genesis 3:1)?

The devil engaged Eve in a conversation to talk her out of what God had said. He further progressed to denying that what God said was true. “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”” (Genesis 3:4-5). He convinced Eve that God was actually holding back something from her and that if she did what he said, she would gain. The outcome was that Eve and subsequently Adam lost the dominion which they had over the earth. Guess who stood to gain from what they lost?

You guessed that right. The devil gained dominion as the god of this world. Because we live in a fallen world, many people come under the same spirit of manipulating and control. Unfortunately, some people aren’t even conscious that they are being controlling. They often feel a deep sense of insecurity and battle with difficult emotions. In order not to feel so insecure, these people will attempt to control the people around them. The unfortunate thing is that, even the act of controlling others does not appease their sense of insecurity.

We have to remain sober and vigilant to discern when someone is being controlling and manipulative. Pray for God to help you to maintain the mind of Christ so that you will not be pulled in by the spirit of manipulating. Also pray that you will not be used by the devil to try to manipulate and control others. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

A.P.-Y.

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