If you've been a believer for awhile, then you will probably be aware of the OFFENSIVE weapon I'm discussing today. The WORD of God! No doubt you've heard sermons on this topic, but I hope to add a couple of things you may not have heard.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
After all, this is the weapon Jesus, Himself, used when he battled Satan in the desert for 40 days. We would do well to study His method. We would do well to study Satan's method too, because he's been using the same methods for years. Nope, he's not very original.
- Satan will take a half-truth, even something from Scripture, and use it to tempt you to sin
- Satan will play upon your greatest weaknesses. He knows you. He's been watching you for years. In Jesus's case, He had no weaknesses, so Satan merely played upon the general weaknesses found among humans
The lust of the flesh - food!
If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.
The pride of life -
“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’
The lust of the eyes
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 1 John 2:16
We finally see what Satan ultimately wants: He wants our worship.
If he can't get our worship, he will try and stop us from worshiping God
The offensive tactic
Use the truth of Scripture against Satan. In each case, Jesus countered with the Word of God. You can read the exchange in Matthew 4. We can do the same.
Sounds easy, right? Well, it isn't that simple.
First of all, you have to KNOW Scripture. When I say know, I mean you have to be reading the Bible every day. Not just reading, but studying, and praying over it, asking the Holy Spirit for insight. The Word of God must take precedence in your life. While I like devotionals and I love sermons, you shouldn't be getting the Word strictly from those things. It has to be personal
Secondly, you can't just use any Scripture to counter the enemy.
- It must be a Scripture that God has shown you is relevant to your situation
- It must be a Scripture that is appropriate in context.
When I say relevant, I don't just mean that it must address the temptation or the attack, but I mean that it should be a verse the Lord has shown you during your many readings of the Bible. It should be a verse that popped off the page to you in regard to your particular situation. For example, I have prodigals that I pray for all the time. During my reading of Scripture, God has led me to many verses about the children of the righteous being saved. Remember the Bible is living and active. It is one of the ways God speaks to us. So, while I'm praying for my kids and reading the Bible, WHAM! this verse will leap off the page right into my heart. Here's one that did so recently:
Proverbs 11:21 Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.
Now, whenever Satan comes lurking and tells me my children are going to hell, I pull out this verse and speak it out loud. And I believe it! Then whoosh, Satan is gone! and the fear with it.
You can do this with any situation you are faced with. If you don't have a verse, pray and dive into the Bible. God will give you one. Verses can also pop out at you from devotionals or while you are listening to sermons too. Just make sure you get alone with God and bring the verse to Him. I emphasize this only because all too often I see Christians shouting out verses they've heard that God has not given them for their personal situation and also because they don't understand the true meaning of it ..... which leads me to my next point.
When I say it must be appropriate in context I mean that you must meet the conditions, if any.
For example, there are many promises in the Bible, for protection, finances, provision, health, etc. but when you read them in context, many of them have conditions. You can only use a Scripture if you meet the condition. Sorry, but otherwise, you are only giving Satan ammunition against you. He knows whether you meet the condition or not.
Let's say you're under attack and you're asking for protection and claiming the verse about angels in Psalm 91.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
If you read the entire Psalm, you discover there are conditions for God's protection. You must love Him and you must dwell in His shelter.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name
Let's say you're countering Satan's claim that you will not have enough money for food this week with the Scripture from Philippians
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
But did you know that when Paul said this, he preceded it by praising the Philippians for their generosity in giving to Paul to assist with his ministry? In other words, God's provision was a result of their generosity.
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Don't just take a verse out of context and play the name-it, claim-it game. Neither satan or God are impressed. If you want to really use the Word of God effectively as a weapon against our enemy, you will need to really KNOW the Word of God, meet the conditions, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to the right verses when you need them the most.
I have a list of such verses the Lord has led me to. I memorize them and use them when needed. If you do the same, I think you'll discover, as I have, that satan will bother you less and less.