How can you overcome temptation? Speaking out God’s Word can help you win those battles.
I recently had the privilege of visiting Israel, where I spent some time at the Mount of Temptation. It’s that wilderness area where Jesus was tempted by the devil.
You’ll see the story in Matthew 4. After Jesus had fasted for 40 days, He was hungry. Right at that point, the tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (v. 3).
Perhaps you are facing some kind of temptation right now. Just because you are in a trial or there is chaos in your life doesn’t mean you are out of favor with God. He loves you very much. But remember you do have an adversary who will focus on your areas of weakness.
The key thing to learn is how Jesus rebuffed temptation by quoting Scripture. In response to the devil’s temptation of food, Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (v. 4).
The devil continued tempting Jesus, but each time Jesus won by quoting Scripture and standing firm.
For his final temptation, the devil took Jesus up on an exceedingly high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and said, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (v. 9).
The devil knew why Jesus had come to earth: to win the kingdoms of this world. And so he was basically saying: “Look, I can give You a shortcut. You don’t have to suffer. You don’t have to obey Your Father’s way. Just worship me, and I’ll give it all to You. I’ll give it to You the easy way.”
I love what Jesus does. Again He quotes Scripture, as verse 10 says:
“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
Look what happened next in verse 11: “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”
Jesus won this battle of temptation by quoting Scripture, and He showed every child of God in every generation how to battle when you are tempted by the enemy. We need to put the Word of God in our heart, and then speak it out. In that moment when the Holy Spirit gave Jesus those Scriptures, Jesus quoted them, and they became like a weapon in His mouth.
The Bible says in Ephesians 6 that we are to take on the whole armor of God, so we can stand against the wiles of the devil. One of the things it says is “Take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17).
Your sword is that Word the Holy Spirit whispers to your heart in your moment of trial and temptation. When you take that Word from your heart and put in your mouth, it becomes a weapon.
Friend, you too can drive off the devil and win in a season of temptation, by doing what Jesus did: fill your heart with the Word of God, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and speak that Word in your hour of need.
Remember, Jesus—who battled all temptations and won—is on your side!
We have two special resources as thanks for your generous support today. First, Inspiration from the Holy Land, a 2020 desktop calendar with Scriptures to meditate on and memorize in the coming year set amongst photos from Bayless’ recent trip to Israel. And second, a special 3-DVD series of messages he filmed in the Holy Land, Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. In this series, you will go on a visual journey to follow in Jesus’ footsteps as we dive into his teachings found in the Book of Matthew.
We hope you’ll request your copies of these resources as our thanks, when you give today using our secure donation page. We pray they help you stand in the strength and power that God wants to give you.
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