WALKING IN THE WORD, 26.11.18
I John 2:6
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
Matthew 4, Overcoming Temptation with God’s Word:
Then Yeshua was led by the Ruach (Holy Spirit) into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.
3 And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are Ben-Elohim (Son of God), tell these stones to become bread.”
4 But He replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on the highest point of the Temple.
6 “If You are Ben-Elohim,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written,
‘He shall command His angels concerning you,’
and ‘upon their hands they shall lift you up,
so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Yeshua said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put Adonai your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil takes Him to a very high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Yeshua says to him, “Go away, satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship Adonai your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil leaves Him. And behold, angels came and began to take care of Him.
From these passages we see that Yeshua/Jesus responded to temptation, and a fearful, threatening situation, with confidence and boldness by the Word of God:
(1) Quoting Scripture; speaking the Word.
(2) Taking charge/taking authority.
Notice how Yeshua used the Word of God to refute each temptation of the Devil’s. He never argued, tried to convince, or make a case. He simply spoke The Word of God. When most individuals are met with temptation, they seem to have a need to argue, justify, analyze, find ways to defend themselves. All the while, it’s so simple: if you know who you are in Christ; if you know the Word of God; just pick it up and wield it, like a sword, against the Enemy, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword—piercing right through to a separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb.4:12). Nothing more is needed. And it is the single most powerful tool and weapon we have the privilege of owning, so let us use it consistently, effectively, with confidence, authority.
Sometimes unbelievers can put believers in difficult situations, causing one to struggle for answers, especially when they are challenging issues, regarding proof of God’s existence, power, or who He is. Believers struggling with faith can be even more difficult, challenging, because of their doubting that a particular event of healing, etc. was from God, so they begin analyzing, questioning, looking for proof, in their quest for reassurance. First of all, God does not need to be proven. Secondly, if someone needs proof, if someone chooses not to believe, then no matter what one says, they will not be convinced; arguing a case is pointless. But one thing we must never do is get tricked into the challenge of proving God’s power by manipulating God to do something just to show someone that what we are saying is right, for “Yeshua said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put Adonai your God to the test”” (Matt.4:7). The devil tried to trick Yeshua into a life-threatening move (if you’re really God’s Son, then throw yourself off the building; He’ll save you); but Yeshua didn’t bite the bait. Nor must we.
Unlike the portrayal of Yeshua in some of the old Jesus movies, a study of Scripture indicates that He was anything but passive and/or timid. He was confident, bold and spoke truth in the face of challenge, adversity, persecution. When the Devil tried to trick, coerce, bully, and intimidate, Jesus/Yeshua, in His very self-assured, yet humble way, simply took authority, speaking God’s Word and rebuking the Devil. He was very decisive; He was very direct and clear; He spoke The Word of God, and when He was done, the Devil fled. “Then Yeshua says to him, “Go away, satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship Adonai your God . .. . . Then the devil leaves Him. And behold, angels came and began to take care of Him” (Matt.4:10,11).
And angels will come to minister to us in the same way, in those times of trouble, just as they did for Yeshua, for “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out for service to those about to inherit salvation?”(Heb.1:14); and “The angel of Adonai encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them”(Ps. 34:8). We also can call on the Lord to send His angels to deliver us from threatening situations; for “Behold, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you into the place that I have prepared” (Ex. 23:20). God has angels assigned to His people; and, although we should not pray to angels, we can ask God to dispatch His angels to assist us in situations of need. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when the Romans came to arrest Him, Christ/Yeshua, said: “Or do you suppose that I cannot call on My Father, and at once He will place at My side twelve legions of angels?”(Matt. 26:53).
Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, walked in the Word. He used the Scriptures to back Him in everything; and that was without the New Testament (He would have been quoting from Torah or Tanakh). We have the New Testament; how much more should we be able to use The Word of God to back us up in all we do. Paul said, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph.6:17). Speaking that Word against the Enemy when the Devil tempted Jesus/Yeshua was wielding the “sword of the Spirit” against the Enemy, the most powerful weapon we have at our disposal. It has been given to us to apply in every area of our lives; and it needs to be studied and applied in order to be effective. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”(Heb.4:12).
Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, never cowered in fear from personally threatening situations. He simply moved in faith, took authority, and achieved victory. Let us do likewise. If we trust in the Lord, He will deliver us: “the Lord certainly knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and how to keep the unrighteous being punished until the Day of Judgment” (2 Pet.2:9). “Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk just as He walked” (I John 2:6). When we walk as He walked, by the power of His Spirit, we can overcome all temptations, and experience victory.
© 2015, revised 2016, 2017, 2nd ed 2017, 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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