5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,“‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” Luke 4:5-8 ESV
I woke up today thinking about my Saturday Story Time blog. I decided to send another chapter in the young David series in which he learns how to use a sling and a stone. As I was contemplating the theme behind the story, I realized David was learning at a young age how to use his weapons of warfare. Then I thought, “What are our spiritual weapons and how can we learn to use them and get better at them?”
Paul says that our weapons are not carnal…fleshly…not something that you will hold in your hands. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. Paul tells us that the spiritual weapons involve thoughts and words.
In Ephesians 6, he mentions the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God. The rest of the armor is important from a defensive position and needs to be present always, but Faith and the Word of God are for engaging combat with our enemy.
Sooooo, How do you grow your faith and learn to wield your sword effectively for spiritual warfare? BTW if you are a child of God, the warfare is already happening, all the time, to render you paralyzed and sidelined from your God given rights and authority. Its not when you engage in battle, it is already being fought against you.
Some Questions to consider and then more observations
- How big is your specific shield of faith to protect you from the fiery darts of the enemy?
- This question has a doctrinal answer and real time application.
- When was the last time that you exercised your faith against the attack of the enemy?
- Did you even realize that you were using a dependency on God to help you overcome the event?
- How would you explain to a young believer how your faith has grown to be more effective?
- Do you understand how to use the word of God as a sword to demolish the world and the enemies thoughts in your own mind that are not from God?
- A sword must be sharpened often, what is your plan to memorize, meditate and engage the word of God?
To keep this blog from getting too long, let’s focus on our passage today with Jesus, faith, and the word of God.
In these temptations from the Devil, they include an experience and misrepresentation of the scripture. In other words, the context for each scripture fit the temptation. I.e. Jesus was hungry and the devil tempted with turning the rock into bread. Just notice temptations are not from left field often, rather they come to us in the regularity of life. Jesus was truly hungry and wanted something to eat.
In each of the temptations, Jesus used an understood and implied word which is not in the text. What was the first word, better yet, the first response to each of the Devil’s temptations? NO.
Exercising faith against thoughts of the enemy will most likely need for you to start with a NO! There is strength when we start with a NO, but it’s effectiveness comes when you follow up with the BECAUSE scripture. Each time Jesus responds….I am adding the NO because of it being implied…please forgive me as I am not trying to “add to the scriptures. Jesus said, “NO, BECAUSE It is written…worship God only.”
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Hearing means the word is spoken aloud and heard through the ears…which filters to our spirit man to discern what is true. We defeat a tempting thought by voicing the scripture in which our faith stands…really important that you have a lot of scriptures in your arsenal.
Let me give you a personal illustration. When Pam and I were engaged, I was working with my Dad in the construction of metal buildings. A couple of the guys fit the profile of whistling and calling out to girls who may be walking past our project. I wanted my thoughts to be pure and to think only of my soon to be wife.
I remember working on the roof putting in screws and the guys starting hollering down to another lady. So, I began to sing softly to myself. “I am dead”. I was remembering the scripture that as a resurrected child of God we are dead to sin. I sang the song under my breath and as a little diddy for quite some time.
Eventually, I realized that I was only speaking half the truth. “I am alive in Christ”. So I starting singing again…”I am dead, I am dead, I am dead to sin, but alive in Christ.” The song redirected my thoughts and opened up some good prayer time for others.
The singing was verbal. The song captured the impure thoughts and words. The “alive in Christ” brought peace to my spirit and strength for the battle.
Let’s put it all together.
- You can exercise your faith and it will grow.
- Faith grows in and with the spoken word of God
- Faith will include action and your words
- Like Jesus, we resist temptation through exercising our faith on the promises of God’s word – which are always truth and life.
David killed a lion and a bear with a sling and a stone, before fighting Goliath. What are some areas in which you need to exercise faith to grow your spirit man? Do you realize how to exercise faith to love others who have offended you, to keep your eyes fixed on what is holy, or to redirect your speech from cursing and judgment to blessing? All of these require faith, dependency, to walk in greater peace and freedom.
I encourage you to listen to the David story if you have not already. I truly believe that God wants us to walk in greater freedom -It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. This freedom comes with the exercise of faith in Jesus.
Blessings Love y’all