“…“MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.”…” (Read Matthew 4:1-11).
I have heard many use Matthew 4:1-11 to teach how Jesus used the word to counter Satanic lie and attack, and so should we. Yes, Jesus shows us here how we can perfectly counter every Satanic banter. Beyond that, what can we learn from this passage about stilling the false voice of evil? Here is what I see this morning as I read this passage anew.
One (4:3-4): yes, Jesus portrayed knowledge of the word of God well and used it to counter the false in verse three. We too must have this same working knowledge of God’s word if we are to counter the false. That requires that we be in the word regularly as God commands. And what does that command say (see Deuteronomy 6:7-8; 11:18-19)?
Write it on our hands—that is to have it readily available for our eyes to see and vitally established in our lives so as to effect the things we do in life and come to our minds readily when in need.
Writing it on our foreheads or frontals—the parts of the brain responsible for short term memory where we rehearse a verse or a truth of God until it moves from there to the permanent memory stores of the brain. There it can affect our decisions and actions, our way of life, our personalities, our belief systems, and our way of thinking about our God, ourselves, and others.
It also says to talk about it when we sit up, lie down and go about our day—the word of God is active and effective, applicable to our daily lives and should color our decisions and direction. Talking about it with one another and especially with our children helps us to perceive and understand how to apply God’s word to the circumstances we live. It also equips us to help others see the right path before them in any struggle they may face, accurately applying God’s word to it. So yes, knowledge of God’s word is vital in countering falsehood and in avoiding the snares of the evil one. However, in this encounter with Jesus we see…
Two (4:5-7): Satan knows how to lie. He knows that the best lie is coupled with enough truth to be believable, and he, too, knows the truth of God, using it against us. After all, he once walked with God. So it is vital, as Jesus reveals in His counter to Satan in verse 7, that we not only know the Word, but we know the God. Jesus knew God and His promises to and about Himself, and He knew Him well enough to know that He did not need for the Father to prove anything to Him. He trusted God because of His intimate relationship with Him.
Scripture teaches we can know His voice, discerning His speaking to us from the stranger, and so we follow Him. It teaches that we can have the Spirit and heart of God and the mind of Christ, discerning His ways from the false, so we are not deceived by the stranger. That also requires that we have an intimate relationship with God, more so than any other, so that the stranger’s voice is truly strange to us. Also God promises that His Spirit teaches us how to respond, just as Jesus did. Intimacy with God protects us from believing the lie and being tricked into putting God to the test.
(See John 10; 1 Corinthians 2:16; John 14-16 – teachings on the Holy Spirit’s work; Acts 13:22; Romans 2:29; 6:17; 10:8-11; Ephesians 6:5-6; Colossians 3:12-17; and so many more that point to like heart with God being required of the believer)
Three: Jesus, having enough, stands on His authority and commands the enemy to leave. He did not continue to deal with Satan, but told him to leave and He did so by pointing out His relationship with and commitment to God alone. In the New Testament teachings, not only does Jesus promise that His authority goes with His Spirit to help those who stand for Him, but we are called His ambassadors, having authority to rightly represent Him in the earth. I believe that when we come to this point and take our stand as Jesus did, that God the Father steps in.
Have you seen the movie Lion King? Remember the part when the little lion son is acting big, trying to send the hyenas away. Of course, he is way to small for his enemy while standing alone, just as we are. But then Daddy comes up behind him and just smiles at the enemy, as if to say, “If you don’t see his authority, you better see mine.” That is what I see in my mind when we stand on the authority God gives us. Our Daddy God comes up behind us and the enemy flees.
What an awesome God we have. He cared enough to send His Son, not only to pay the full price as the final sacrifice for sin, but first He came to live a life that sets the example we can follow in living victorious on the earth.
“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).
Darlene Davis © 3/28/11