The account of Jesus’s temptation (Matthew 4) showcases the fact that Jesus did not yield to temptation. It proves that Jesus was strong enough to overcome. It also showcases lessons for us ~ on the devil’s tactics and how the devil can be defeated.
The devil has been around a long time. He knows how to deceive and trip people up. He knows how to trick one into sin. He knows how to pull the rug out, set the trap and get his man or woman. He is an expert in the art of temptation. He is able to make the temptation look good; even like the right thing to do.
The thing is that we need to recognize that he is a deceiver and a liar. He hates us and desire to see us fail; to fall and to be made ineffective. He is afraid of us discovering our potential and our authority so he attempts to trip us up and knock us out of the fight with temptations that are common to humanity.
Remember the devil is our enemy; not people. Remember it isn’t food, drink or money that is our enemy; it is the tempter.
Ephesians 6 tell us that our fight isn’t with flesh and blood but with ‘principalities, and against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’.
Here, in Ephesians, we see a picture of a warfare that most don’t recognize.; a spiritual warfare but a real warfare nonetheless. A warfare that requires armour; full armour. Armour that protects and shields from the enemy’s attack. Armour that emboldens and enables a soldier to fight.
In the hand of that well equipped soldier is a sword; but not just any sword. In the hand of a well equipped soldier is a sword with a razor’s edge; able to pierce through an enemy’s defence and able to thwart any thrust set against him. A sword that is sharper and more deadly than any other blade. (Hebrews 4:12)
This sword is called the sword of the Spirt; the Word of God. It is the only offensive weapon a true soldier of Christ has. It is the only weapon that can cut down an attack of the enemy of the soul. One thrust of this razor sharp device with stop the enemy in his tracks. One swing of the sword of God’s Word will bring down the tempter and thwart his plans for success.
Each soldier of the cross must have his sword at the ready if he or she hopes to be successful in the battle. Each soldier of Christ must be ready to speak the Word boldy and with faith to cut down the enemy where he stands. A soldier will not win without the promises and precepts of the Word of God at the ready. It is a vital piece of fighting gear that cannot be left behind.
Pick up the Word of God and use it as it was meant to be used; as a weapon against the enemy of your soul. Don’t let it just gather dust on your shelf or your coffee table; pick it up and speak it aloud for your enemy to hear. He trembles in fear and shakes in trepidation when you wield the sword of the Spirit because he knows that it cuts deep.
When he tempts you to distrust God swing the sword. When he tempts you to disobey God’s direction thrust it forward. When he tempts you to put something else before God cut him deep by speaking loudly the promises and directives of the Word. Nothing else will be as effective and this mighty sword of the Spirit.
Jesus overcame the enemy in the wilderness by quoting the Word of God. Each time the devil tried to beguile Jesus with a temptation He thrust the sword. The devil is a skilled tempter but he was no match for the two-edged blade. After three good attempts he backed off knowing he had met his match.
The devil never faced an opponent like this. He never experienced such a skilled swordsmen. This was just the beginning of the end for Beelzebub ~ he had met his match.
We’ve been given access to the same weaponry as Jesus used; the sword of the Spirit. As the scripture says, let’s put on the whole armour and do some sword fighting of our own!