I was reading in Matthew chapter 4 the other day and I came across the passage where Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness. Now, I have read this passage before and I am sure a lot of people reading this blog have also read this passage in the past. But I had remembered the previous blog post that I had written on cutting off the things in your life that lead to temptation, “Cut off your Right Hand”, and I wanted to write about this other Biblical technique for handling temptation. So let’s get into it.
And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone , but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ”Matthew 4:3-4 NASB
So one thing that is learned from this passage is that a way to counter an attack from the devil is to speak the word of God to him. He can’t challenge the authority in the word when you have made it your guide and light. The devil has to play by your rules when you make the word your foundation. And that brings me to the first part of this tactic.
It is important to have a knowledge and understanding of the word of God. It matters that you know the word of God and more importantly know it accurately. Let me show you an example of what happens when the word of God is not know accurately.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ ” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”Genesis 3:1-5 NASB
So if we look at this passage carefully we can get a glimpse into how the devil will confuse us about what God has said. So the devil starts off by asking the question of, did God say that you can’t eat of any of the trees in the Garden? And in asking this he is introducing confusion into what God actually said. Now what God actually said was this.
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”Genesis 2:16-17 NASB
So what God actually said was that they could eat from any of the trees, except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So the devil first twisted the truth, then Eve made a mistake. Eve said God told them to not eat or touch the fruit, lest they die. Now God only said that if they eat it they will die. So when Eve grabbed the fruit, she expected to die. But when she didn’t she gave over some trust to the serpent and then ate the fruit.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.Genesis 3:6 NASB
So because Eve didn’t know the Word of God, she fell into the trap of temptation. So we must make sure that we have a clear understanding of scripture and that we are accurate with scripture as well.
Sword of the Spirit
So the next biblical principle of fighting temptation with the Word of God is that the sword of the Spirit is the word of God.
And take the helmet of salvation , and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Ephesians 6:17 NASB
So we have to understand that the Holy Spirit within us, uses the Word of God as a sword against our enemies. So when we are confronted by the devil, the Spirit will bring to us the Word of God that we need to defeat the attack against us.
But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.Matthew 10:19-20 NASB
So we have to arm ourselves with the Word of God. The ammunition of the Spirit is the word of God. So in order to fight, we need the Word.
Bring down every high thing
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB
And lastly we are to bring down every high thing that exults itself against the knowledge of God. We are called to bring down any idea, personal thought, or cultural thought that comes against what God has said. This is the target that the Holy Spirit is striking with the word of God. I encourage anyone reading this blog to ask the Holy Spirit what He wants to target today, and to take that thing down in the name of Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit defeat the enemies before you so you can walk victoriously.
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