Yesterday, I talked about the temptation of Jesus and how the enemy attacks. Using the same Scripture, I would like to talk a bit about authority. Knowing who we are in Christ helps us to understand the authority we have, so that we can withstand any attack from Satan.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
When it comes to dealing with the enemy, we need to understand that, if Christ lives in us, then the authority that He has over the devil, is the same authority that we have over the devil. HOWEVER, we canNOT operate in our authority properly if we are not closely following Christ.
When the devil tried to tempt the Son of God, his primary weapon was to try to appeal to worldly desires that are found in man (not men, but human beings) and draw Jesus away from His true identity. Jesus fought back with Truth. The enemy would question and tempt, and Jesus would reply, “It is written.” Jesus knew the Word because He IS the Word. We are called to do battle with the enemy in the same way.
But, how well do you know your weapon?
We should know Jesus, so intimately, that when the enemy comes against us, it is just natural that Jesus, who is the Word, flows out of us. Unfortunately, a majority of Christians struggle when the enemy attacks because they are unable to exercise their authority over him. And they are unable to exercise their authority over him because they do not know how to wield their weapon of the Word. This is why it is essential to be in the Word, everyday. DAILY we are supposed to renew our mind.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
When we know God, and are able to test and approve what God’s will is, then we are able to identify the schemes of the devil because they will obviously be contrary to what God has shown us. We will also be capable of speaking Truth, with authority – reminding the enemy of who, and whose, we are.
There is something else to consider. Notice that the devil quoted the Word, as well. He is not averse to using our weapon against us. And he is well-versed in Scripture. That is why it is so important that we not only know the Word because we are actually reading and listening to it, but also allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal deeper mysteries of the Word, to us.
In order to resist the devil, we are to submit to God, first. But how many times has something happened and we have gotten upset or scared, hollering at the devil, seeking out our prayer warriors to intercede, and looking to everyone for advice – except God? (I’ve been guilty of this.) Please hear me when I say, I am not coming against seeking out prayer from trusted intercessors – there is a time for that. And I am not coming against godly counsel or spiritual warfare; however, we tend to rely on those things, first, when perhaps all God wanted us to do is simply submit to Him…and allow Him full access to our lives. When you’re submitted to God, resisting the devil doesn’t seem all that daunting because you are in intimate communion with the One who has already defeated your enemy.
Today, I challenge you to talk to God about how you commune with Him through His Word. Many of us struggle with reading the Bible on a daily basis for various reasons. However, if we are to defeat the attacks of the enemy, we MUST know how to wield the sword that has been given to each of us. Just as a soldier would not step into battle without knowing how to use his (or her) weapon, neither should we walk where our enemy roams about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour without knowing how to stand firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:8-9).
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13
I know today’s post doesn’t feel very “encouraging,” but if we can grasp the importance of knowing God through intimacy and communion with Him, through His written Truth, then we will be able to stand firm in the faith and resist the devil…especially when he attempts to draw us away from our identity in Christ.
“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:12b