Believers, Use the Power

July 11, 2008

“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, afterward 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.”

Matthew 4:1-11

The Son of God, in His greatness and perfection, certainly did not need to quote The Scriptures “that are written” to the devil. If there is One person who could rebuke the devil without words, it is Jesus Christ Himself. He could have caused the devil to disappear instantly, without remorse and it would be as if he never was. I imagine, the devil fully knowing [James 2:19] who He is, trembling as He uttered the words, “If You are the Son of God.” Jesus did not falter, stumble or stutter but simply rebuked the slimy ‘ole devil with, The Word of God [Matthew 4:4]. Although He was tempted, no sin has ever been uttered, nor actualized of the minutest proportion in the Son of God. He knew no sin [Hebrews 4:15].

The demonstrative purposes from the God-Man are certainly a sobering reminder that, if the perfect One of God is tried and tempted as a man, yet fully God, then we, having a completely fallen nature are most certainly always a target of prey from Satan, the one who is condemned forever. You are an antelope and Satan is a fallen lion, seeking any flesh to devour and bring to death with him [1 Peter 5:8]. He knows his time is short. If you are not careful, watching and praying, you will be seen in the open, most vulnerable and weak to fall. The world is always offered to you with its greatest lusts. One is just around the corner, but it most likely will not be noticed until temptation has already arisen, maybe even now. For, that is how the devil works, disguising himself as an angel of light [2 Corinthians 11:14]. The devil himself is a wolf in sheepskin. He covers truth with lies and lies with truth, as he quotes the Scriptures back to Jesus, blaspheming God [Matthew 4:6].

Jesus Christ, having infinite power and glory, was only able to be tempted because of His incarnation [Phil.2:5-11], thus in the territory of the devil, being the prince of this world [John 14:30]. He made Himself this way so that He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness [Hebrews 5:2]. Otherwise, as He is, The King of Kings stomps the serpent’s head under His feet. In other words, Christ is truly unapproachable to be tempted apart from His incarnation. Even in His fully human nature prior to crucifixion, He was perfectly consecrated and in perfect fellowship with the Father. He is the omnipotent One from whom all things came to be. Although He is the Bread of Life, being fully human, He ate food on earth. Although He is the living water, being fully human, He drank water on earth. In the same way, although He is the Son of God incarnate, He [because He had chosen to subject Himself] rebuked the devil with the Word of God on earth. If our perfect example does this, we are to do the same, with great tenacity.

Much of the application for the fallen soul is learning to use the power of God with the words of God. Our Savior has shown by example how to rebuke evil and the devil, not only with words, but specific words in the Scriptures. The devil already knows that he is overthrown. For it is written,
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
Colossians 2:13-15
Many situations have arisen and will arise that may or may not be inherently evil at the time of arrival. Since sin is always in the fallen human heart, even upon regeneration, any scenario may become evil instantaneously. The Apostle James warns of the process that, ‘each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed’ [James 1:14]. The abundance of Christians think that temptation applies to certain areas of life and not every area of life [lust of flesh, eyes, pride]. Even if we have exhausted every avenue to sin, we will simply create new and unique avenues to rebel. One arena may actually lead to another avenue. To avoid confusion and from blaspheming, it is important to realize that all evil enticement is derived from our already wicked hearts and the devil. It is not from God, because God Himself cannot be tempted, nor can He tempt [James 1:13]. God is not fallen, but we are the fallen creatures.

Believers must realize the power of the truth of God, quickly discerning good and evil to prevent a fire eruption. Put the coals out before they get hot. Namely, a particular verse of Scripture always applies to a specific area of life, and/or situation. It allows us to cut the head off of the serpent before we are quickly convinced to participate in his evil works. Although the devil does not verbally ask the questions as he did the Messiah, he manipulates the Word and the peace of God by potentially turning a blessed scenario into a demonic enticement.
“Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” James 1:15
The intercession takes place when the comfort of the Holy Spirit tears down the strongholds with quick discernment and fear of God within the soul that would otherwise not even be a “temptation” apart from Grace. The Word of God to fallen sinners is indeed a sword for battle. It is the only thing that defeats the devil and his cunning attempts to bring down a saint of God. He will try every opportunity that is available. It will not be when you see it, but it happens in your own heart before the temptation arises. It is like a snake in the grass, not knowing where he is until he has bitten you. May our comfort rest in the righteous knowledge of the Holy One and not of the demons who say, “What will you do with us, ‘O Son of God?” We will not be sent into the swine, but are already covered by His blood. Therefore, because of His righteousness and the Cross, He clothes our infinitely unworthy unrighteous deeds with His infinitely worthy perfectly righteous deeds, leading to eternal life.

Evaluate the decisions you must make everyday. Why do you make the decisions you do? Without leaning in a legalist manner, compare it in light of specific Scriptures. Just as the devil lied to Jesus, attempting to use the Word of God against Him, so may we, who are evil, attempt to justify a scenario using Scripture and still not honor God [Matthew 4:6]. The devil is plotting right now for your fall and it is a way that you do not expect. He is the ultimate son of perdition, prowling, seeking and blaspheming everything in sight. His only purpose is to steal, kill and destroy [John 10:10]. Even the things you do not see, he uses those to his advantage to capture your particular desires of worldly affections. May you discern good from evil, the will of God from your own perversions and the Grace of God from demonic presence. Take your Sword and ‘Fight the fight of faith.’ Search the Scriptures and do not tempt the Lord Our God. Allow the God of Peace to enlighten your soul by worshiping God and serving only Him.

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One Response to “Believers, Use the Power”

  1. Candace Says:

    Wow AJ… You’re turning into quite the blogger! Keep up the great posts!


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