June 19, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
So, following the instructions in Ephesians 6:14-17, you are dressed in you armor:
…having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of
righteousness…having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel
of peace…taking the shield of faith…[and] the helmet of salvation….
And you have “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” in your hand…… Now what do you do? You use the sword against the enemy, just as Jesus showed us on the Mount of Temptation.
When the Lord had fasted forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13), Satan came to tempt Him. Jesus was, after such a fast, physically weak, but spiritually strong! This is the first key to winning the battle against the enemy. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:10, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” Be very aware that you have no power in yourself “…to stand against the wiles of the devil,” (Ephesians 6:11). But, as Paul stated in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” James wrote in James 4:7-10:
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw
near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners;
and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament, and mourn, and weep!
Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble
yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
What James means is pretty clear, except for maybe what he wrote in verse 9: “Lament…mourn …weep…laughter…to mourning…joy to gloom….” He’s not telling us to go around looking sad all the time. He is admonishing us to take sin seriously – to be broken-hearted over it! Since God is utterly holy and righteous, we dare not take sin lightly and try to “draw near to” Him without genuine repentance! But having drawn “near to God” – having “submit[ed] to God” – we are then ready to “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
With sword in hand, we approach our enemy. And we thrust and slice with that powerful sword! Remember that “…the sword…is the word of God….” And, as we saw in the last blog, that Word is very powerful! It is written in Hebrews 4:12, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…”!
Jesus was attacked three times by the devil tempting Him. Each time the Lord countered with a thrust of “…the sword…the word of God….”
• First temptation – And the devil said unto him, “If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.” (Luke 4:3)
First thrust – But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not
live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” (Luke 4:4)
• Second temptation – Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain,
showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And
the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their
glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I
wish. Therefore if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
Second thrust – And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind me, Satan!
For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only
you shall serve.’” (Luke 4:5-7)
• Third temptation – Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle
of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Your-
self down from here. For it is written, ‘He shall give His angels charge
over You, to keep You,’ and ‘In their hands they shall bear You up, lest
You dash Your foot against a stone.’” (Luke 4:9-11)
Third thrust – And Jesus answered and said to him, It has been said, ‘You
shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” (Luke 4:12)
Use “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God….”! Read your Bible! Study it! Memorize it! Be ready to draw out that powerful sword at any time! Speak the Word forth to Satan and/or his demons, just like Jesus did!
Keep in mind what John wrote in I John 4:4, because it is as if Jesus Himself is speaking, not you!
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them [the devil and his
demons], because He who is in you [Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit] is
greater than he who is in the world.
Dress for battle! Take up your weapon! Go forth and fight your enemy! In Jesus Christ you are guaranteed the victory!!!
In our next blog, we will look at our last offensive weapon, “…praying always….” (Ephesians 6:18).