Word Power  

Luke 4: 1 – 13

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.  And He ate nothing during those days; and when they had ended, He became hungry.  And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”  And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”  And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment.  And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.  Therefore if you worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”  And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”  And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You to guard you.’ And ‘On their hands they will bear You up lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’”  And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”  And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

This is an important story because it shows how the devil tempts and how Jesus fought those temptations.  Ephesians 6: 17 says that the weapon we have is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  Jesus, being our model, demonstrated how to defeat the enemy.  I want you to see and recognize the weapon of His warfare.  Jesus defeated Satan with the Word of God.  Notice that after Jesus fended off two of Satan’s attempts with the Word, Satan quoted from the 91st Psalm to try to deceive Jesus.  But Jesus knew the Word.  He knew it so well that he could see the perversion of the word that the devil attempted to sneak past Him.

There is no other weapon that would have defeated the devil then, nor is there any other weapon that will defeat him now.  The Word, is the sword that the Father has given us.  It is well able to defeat the enemy but you have to know how to wield it.  Each time the devil threw a temptation at Christ, Jesus countered that temptation with, “It is written.”  It is a good thing, then, that Jesus knew the Word.  He used the Word itself, not just his knowledge of the Word, to combat the devil.  Jesus did not rely on His own strength, His own knowledge or His own wit to defeat the devil.  No, He used the Word of God.  He did not argue with the devil.  He just quoted the scripture to him.

Today’s passage brings us a very important message.  If we are to defeat the devil and his minions we must first give attention to the Word.  If you don’t study the Word then you are unarmed and you really don’t want to fight the enemy unarmed.  Further, we need to understand that Jesus did not fight with or argue with the devil.  He did not rely on His position as the Son of God.  He was a man and in all ways tempted as are we and he had to resist the devil with the same tools that are available to us.  He simply quoted the Word to the devil.  He did not enter into a debate with him.  Jesus made the Word of God the final authority and the wielding of that Word defeated the devil.  We must all learn to do this too.  Read the Bible.  Arm yourself with the living sword of the Spirit.  Then when the devil gets in your face, just start quoting scripture.  You will see for yourself that the devil cannot stand up to the Word.  He will have to flee from you just like he did from Jesus.


Divine Favor

Psalm 5: 12

Thou dost surround him with favor as with a shield.

All of your protection is in the Lord. We claim it every day according to Psalm 91. In the same way, you are surrounded by the goodwill of the Lord. You are to receive favor and walk in it. It is intended for you to have favor with both God and man (Proverb 3: 4) and that favor surrounds you. It encompasses you on every side. No one nor anything can come to you except through the favor of God. Favor is the unmerited (you didn’t have to earn it) blessing of the Lord. People and God see you and receive you with goodwill and a kind heart. They are willing to be gracious to you because you have an abundance of favor. You can expect the best, not in an arrogant way because you did nothing to earn or deserve it. You can receive it, though, in the graciousness of God. Just because He loves you, He gives you favor. Receive His favor and watch it bless your life daily.

James 4: 7

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

I read something that Gloria Copeland wrote which had a profound effect on my thinking. She was in prayer one day when the Lord told her, “Separate yourself and you’ll be separated.” She went on to write, “[F]ollow God and separate yourself from evil (then) you will be separated from evil.”

That took hold of me. I thought about how applicable that is in an everyday sense. Gloria Copeland was writing on Psalm 91 and the protection God has provided for all of us. So many times bad things happen to folks and thus they are looking for relief. Well, the devil is in this world and he is going to make life difficult, if he can. One of the best ways to cut him off though, is to separate yourself from him and separate yourself unto God. What does this mean?

It really is quite simple and that is one of the things I liked about it. If you want evil out of your life, separate yourself from evil. In other words, bad things come from Satan, not God. As you live to God there is a greater and greater chasm between you and the effects of the devil. If you continue to dally in lies, deceptions, gossip, unkindness, etc., you are allowing evil to maintain a place in your life. As you separate yourself from those things which are not of God, then you are separating yourself from evil and then it is much harder for the evil to get to you to harm you.  It is a two edged sword, you cannot practice ungodliness without it biting you too. Don’t give the devil a place in your life. Separate yourself from the things of the kingdom of darkness.