Monday, April 20, 2009

The Word of God

Last Fall I discovered a frightening truth; the enemy not only knows scripture, but uses it. I think we were all taught at some point that even satan and the demons know God, but knowing something and experiencing that something are two totally different things.

Have you ever had one of those midnight wake ups where you feel like you have some kind of message, or tune, or poem, or whatever... and you know that if you don't immediately get up and write it down you will forget it before morning? Some messages, songs, and sermons are that way. I've heard of many popular Christian speakers who carry a pen and paper with them at all times incase the Lord decides to speak. They don't want to miss or forget anything. But then there are the other sermons that you hear and they seem to never leave. There's no need to really write them down because i mean it's like photographic right there in your mind. That's how I feel how about this passage.

I do not remember where I was whenever I realized that there was a possibility that the confusion in my life could have come from the chief liar and deceiver himself. And i'm still not even sure how to sort it all out, but nevertheless I press on.... very weak, i might add, but pressing none the less.

Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry.
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "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 by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'"
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

So the Spirit leads Him into the wilderness, He spends forty days and nights fasting before the Lord, and then His fasting period is over... and just like anyone would naturally be - He's hungry. So the enemy sees this as the perfect opportunity to tempt Him.

"Look man, you're hungry... and if You are the Son of God, you know, you could just tell that stone to become bread and you'd solve that problem right there."

What does Christ do in return? He quotes scripture.

So satan moves on and tries something else, but this time he tries to be sneaky and he uses scripture. "God said He'd send His angels to come and catch you, so why don't you just jump? I mean if You are the Son of God."

Christ responds again by quoting scripture.

Obviously Satan isn't stupid - he's trying to pretend that he is, but he aint fooling no one but himself. He knows that Jesus is the Son of God. So why is he trying to make Him do all of these things to prove that He is the son of God?

Because it's not about proving that He is indeed the very Son of God. Satan wanted Christ to fall down, to listen to his words - he wanted to trick him, to somehow try and win, to gain power over him, to make him slip... which leads us to temptation number three.

"Worship me! I'll give you all of this."

That's what he wanted all along - he wanted Jesus to mess up and worship him. The enemy knew darn well who He was dealing with - he needed no proof - that's why he was trying so hard to get Him to worship him. He knew Christ was our only hope and our only means of true Life. And just as always, he was hard at work trying to mess up that plan.

For the third time Christ again quotes scriptures back at His tempter.

So how does this apply to us?

First, I think it's very important to point out that the enemy can't tempt you unless the Lord lifts His hand and allows it. (v. 1 The Spirit led Him...) He doesn't do it to forsake you in your weakness, but more to bring you to the place where you can meet Him and witness His strength. I read one time that maybe the Lord allows us to continue to get lower and lower and lower until we can't possibly go any lower so that we are SO desperate we can't cling to anything else, but Him. It's never about Him leaving you there to hurt, it's about you realizing who He is and that with Him comes His Power.

Second, the enemy attacks you when you're down. (v. 2-3) Christ had been fasting for 40 days and was flat out hungry... the enemy used that hunger to tempt Jesus in a weak point. I think so many times we blame the devil for what's going on in our lives (i'm so not pointing fingers here). Sometimes it's not the enemy in our circumstance, but instead the enemy using our circumstance. That financial issue you're dealing with - it may not be him at all, but you betcha he could step in at any moment and decide to use that issue because it's a weak place for you.

Third, the enemy quotes scripture. (v. 6) It's so so so so important to know the Word of God. This also makes me think of false teachers - any time someone tries to prove a point to you by using ONE verse in the word of God - your red flag needs to go poppin' up. He's a smart fella. He aint gonna come out in all his red gear trying to mess you up. You bet he'll come all pretty (the angel of light), even using scripture to trick you up. Beware!

There are many other points that we could pull out in this passage, but this is getting lengthy so I'll close with the most important....

We need to speak the Word.

Three times Christ was tempted and all three times He quoted scripture right back. We have to know it. To hide it in our hearts. To meditate on it. To continually speak it, people...

In Ephesians 6:10-18 you have the passage on the Armor of God. Beth Moore in her book 'Praying God's Word' points out that the first 5 articles in our armor are for protection. The 6th, and final, article is the only one that is a weapon. And that weapon is our sword - the Word of God. [Immediately following that verse there is a comma and it continues on with 'praying always'.... which is what lead Beth to publish that book.]

The only weapon we need is the Word of God. And we can't fight if we don't spend time in it, meditating, and hiding it within us. You can't know it if you don't read it.

So i'm not claiming that my situation is indeed the enemy.... but I do know this passage came out SO clear to me one day and i haven't been able to forget it. I'm thinkin' it must be important. And i'm also thinkin' that if Jesus quoted scripture and He was 'the Word became flesh' then we probably should imitate that and quote us some powerful Words of God too.

Cling to Jesus. I'm going to share one of these days how hard (mentally) the past four years have been - and I pray that the Lord uses it for His glory to strengthen/encourage whomever He chooses. I know that I speak about it alot, but that's because it's truly a fight and weakness for me - more than anyone will ever know. You have yours [weakness], and I have mine - and many days I choose to lie in bed because i'm too tired to fight and fail. The only way i'm going to EVER get over what i'm going through is to seriously speak the Word of my Lord Jesus Christ.... whether it's the enemy or my straight up ignorance that's causing confusion - i must choose to Speak the Word, Claim the Name, and Plead the Blood.

"It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
- Jesus (Mt. 4:4)

He said it - not me.

1 comment:

Bill Dotson said...


I happened upon your post through a Google Alert I set up on the phrase, "plead the blood". Many of the "hits" I get on my blog are from searches on that phrase which I wrote about in 2006. You might be interested in reading what God showed me about that phrase at: Scroll down to Plead The Blood. Be Blessed!