And the sword of the spirit which is the word of God – Ephesians 6:17
There are many Christians today that deny there is an enemy such as Satan and that he has a kingdom of his own, that is comprised of fallen angels and demons. And then there are Christians that fear Satan and his kingdom and his company of evil-doers. Whether belittling the fact that Satan exists, or whether ignoring his existence to the point of fearing getting his attention, one is without the sword of the Spirit. Because the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. And the Word of God is a weapon of both offense and defense against the intentions of the enemy. This is the weapon of choice that Jesus used when confronted by the enemy and his attacks. Let’s take a look at this event in Matthew 4:1-11..
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.
2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple,
6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’
7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’
8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’
11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
Now, I admit that there was a time in my past when I read this scripture and in my imagination I saw how Jesus was tempted almost to the point of exhaustion (in other words the devil wore Him out) and so much so that angels had to come and revive Him. And the devil simply walked off the scene thinking, “I’ll be back”.
However, after becoming more familiar with the ‘power’ and ‘authority’ that Jesus walked in while on this earth, my imagination has done a bit of rearranging this scene in my mind.
Now, when reading this passage, I see in my mind that the devil is almost to the point of desperation in trying to get Jesus to sin and Jesus is in full control of His reaction to the enemy’s advances. Satan begs and Jesus responds with commands. After a few tries, Jesus commands the enemy to leave His presence and the devil is so tired and worn out, he leaves as instructed. I imagine the devil to be mentally exhausted and confused and thinking, “what the heck just happened here???”. So now, the devil has to go somewhere and rest awhile to recover from the blows.
And the angels come to minister to Jesus because physically Jesus is exhausted, because He has been fasting for forty days. Mentally, though, Jesus is alert and sharp as a tack. To sum it up, the scene in the wilderness between Jesus and Satan, leaves me with the impression that there is no match between the devil and the Word of God. This is why we must wield the sword of the Spirit. We gotta talk to the devil just like Jesus talked to him. The sword of the Spirit must be our defense and our offense where the enemy is concerned.
Satan cannot do anything with the spirit of a person, therefore he is after the soul of a person. He uses thoughts, ideas and suggestions to train up a person’s feelings and emotions. He tries to appeal to the lust of the ego and pride of a person. And once he has accomplished this, he will use these triggers over and over in a person’s life to keep them in bondage. But, he has no rights where the Christian is concerned to keep one in bondage. Jesus has given us His Word to remind the enemy and our flesh, that we belong to God. And, if we do as God has said, we have the victory and the enemy and his advances have no control.
We must start with being honest with ourselves and admitting our weaknesses and our desire for the sin, to God. Then, we ask God to give us His desire for our situation and take away our desire for what does not please Him. After we have come to terms with our circumstances and dealt honestly with them, we can begin to use His Word to profess a victory in whatever area we are dealing with (and we do NOT have to wait for the victory before we profess the victory!). We profess the victory because this is what God has said, not because we have the victory. And, we have to know what His Word says before we can begin professing a victory. We can learn what He has said and we can meditate on what He has said and then we make a habit of confessing aloud what He has said. And we will have learned to wield the sword of the Spirit. The devil is defeated and our flesh is crucified.