"The Two Edged Sword"
How do we deal with temptation? The Lord Jesus Christ provides both the model and the means whereby we discover the answer in personal and doctrinal terms.
"And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:3-10).
"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10).
In the wilderness temptation, the Lord Jesus Christ pulled the sword of the Spirit from the sheath of His heart, slashing and piercing each devilish enticement with "It is written." The living Word, Christ, overcame by the written Word, the Scriptures. Thereby He showed us the way of dealing with temptation. We affirm the Word of God to counter challenges to our faith and faithfulness. Consider, for example, the temptation to fear regarding material or financial matters. Thoughts, emotions, and perhaps even physical sensations confront our peace of mind. How might we respond, in light of our Lord's example?
"It is written, My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus…. It is written, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them… It is written, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you" (Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:26; 33).
Such affirmation fortifies our hearts to walk in Truth and its blessed tranquility. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3). However, the Lord Jesus provides not only the example, but also the enabling for dealing with temptation. "I am the way" He declared (John 14:6). The Spirit of Christ dwells in born again believers to empower us to "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6). Our capacity to "fight the good fight of faith" flows from the truth that "the Captain of our salvation" literally lives within us to empower us for the confrontations we face in our present earthly lives (I Timothy 6:12; Hebrews 2:10). Thus, we trust Him to enable our execution of the way He showed us to overcome challenges. We rely on the double edged sword of the living and the written Word, walking in the Spirit and the Truth of the Lord Jesus.
We do well to hide the Scriptures in our hearts to enable our overcoming. "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee" (Psalm 119:11). We also do well to remember and affirm the living Word that dwells within our hearts. "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts" (Galatians 4:6). Such a sharp and two-edged sword leads us to face every challenge with the confidence whereby through Christ, we walk in consistent and growing faithfulness…
"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:4)
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
(I Corinthians 10:13)
Weekly Memory Verse
"As it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
(I Corinthians 1:31)