When Jesus did battle with satan, He famously used these words “it is written”. Here is the story. NOTE that I have inserted the scripture
THEN JESUS was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread.
The tempter came when Jesus had a time of need. The tempter came with a temptation that would solve that time of need.
How would Jesus respond?
But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Deut 8:3
Jesus quoted the foundation of His faith – that He depends on God and God’s words would be sufficient for His need.
Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary. And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. Ps 91:11, 12
Now the tempter has created a situation – by taking Jesus to a precarious place where Jesus seems to be in danger. And it’s not just any old place… Jesus was brought up a Jew… He has been taken to the temple! The temple!
Firstly, the tempter has displayed the power to move someone physically. Secondly, the tempter is displaying that he can go wherever he wants to, even to the temple, which was considered holy and also considered to be the center of the world.
Did you notice that the tempter quoted scripture as well? The challenge is four-fold:
- Being placed in danger
- A display of power over the laws of nature
- A display of power over the temple
What will Jesus do? Will He let His circumstances dictate His thoughts and actions?
Jesus said to him, Deut 6:16 On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, Deut 6:13 test thoroughly, or Isa 9:1-2 try exceedingly the Lord your God. Deut 6:16
Once again Jesus depends on His own correct understanding of the words of God as revealed by scripture.
What is Jesus doing in these three temptations? Jesus chooses to walk by faith and NOT by the facts that He can see with His eyes. He walks by faith, not depending on His situation. We walk by faith and not by sight!
Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them. And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me.
The tempter could not use Jesus’ own needs to his advantage, he could not use fear. What does he try now?
He takes Jesus Christ and places Him on a high place, on a ledge, on an edge of a building high up – creating insecurity and perhaps vertigo, so that Jesus will be at a disadvantage when answering the next question.
What happened? Jesus still stood firm on God’s promises. He walked by faith. His location on a ledge on the outside of the temple high up… His location and situation didn’t change His interpretation of God’s words as revealed by scripture.
If he can’t use Jesus’ needs, and if he can’t scare Jesus, perhaps he can bribe Jesus?! This challenge appeals to the vanity and desire of people to have power and be exalted. How many of us would refuse wealth, power and status if offered to us?
So now, does Jesus let the situation affect His thoughts? Or does He continue to walk by God’s words as revealed by scripture… lets see…
Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. Deut 6:13
Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
It is interesting to note that the devil left, because he was told to leave.
I hope you can see the challenge that was placed before Jesus Christ. Would Jesus Christ depend on the promises of God, or would Jesus listen to His rumbling stomach, or His precarious situation, or His own built in desire to be a success and be seen to be a success and have authority and power – which all humans may feel at one time or another?
Or would He walk by faith, depending His lifestyle and choices on the promises that God has made in scripture – in the bible.
And this brings us to our own life. We may be hungry, we may feel unsafe, we may desire to be a person of stature and have authority… but will we stand firm on what we can see with our eyes of faith?
You see, we have something incredible on offer to us. Every promise in the bible is yes and amen to us and all we have to do is offer our amen to it!
For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes in Him [Christ].
For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God. – 2 Cor 1:20
It’s really that simple. All you now need to know is… what are the promises that – like Jesus Christ – you can stand firm on and utter your own amen to God regarding those promises.
I’m speaking specifically about promises in scripture here. So I have compiled some scriptures for you to take a firm stand on. Utter your amen to these scriptures 🙂
it’s our faith IN HIS WORK that overcomes this world (1 John 5:4),
because our faith in Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world (John 1:29),
He abolished and set aside sin (Heb 9:26).
He annulled death (2 Tim 1:10) and
He made the devil powerless and of no effect (Heb 2:14),
He disarmed the powers and principalities (Col 2:15).
He was a sacrifice and He atoned for the WHOLE world and not only for believers (1 John 2:2).
The work Jesus Christ did is complete. He said it Himself: it is finished (John 19:30).
All that remains is for you to receive it through your faith (Rom 4:16).
NOTE: You can read these promises and many more on this page I wrote
Utter your amen to those scriptures and stand on them. Regardless of the situation of danger, regardless of your hunger, regardless of the offer of authority or power which will distract you… stand firm on His finished work 🙂
Do not underestimate your role in this. It is YOU whose prayers and supplications and your faith in God’s promises in scriptures which overcome the evil in this world.
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. – 1 John 5:4
So when you have a chance, don’t wait for a trial or a temptation, just choose to speak out these words “It is written” and add onto that some of His many promises.
You see, even in the Old Testament (the old covenant) the whole land was healed when believers prayed
If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. – 2 Chron 7:14
You see, the whole world can be released from chains, because of believers. That is why Jesus Christ referred to us as light, salt, fruit – to benefit the world. I like to say that Christianity is one of the few organisations which exists for it’s non-members.
We may all be born under law, sin and death (the old covenant) but it doesn’t have to stay that way. We can accept and live in the new covenant!
And in the new covenant it is faith which is the key, not works. It is our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ which overcomes the evil in this world. Your faith – just yours – has an impact on this whole world, creating a better and more free world, a world in which it is a joy to live in.
For thus says the Lord–Who created the heavens, God Himself, Who formed the earth and made it, Who established it and did not create it to be a worthless waste; He formed it to be inhabited–I am the Lord, and there is no one else. – Is 45:18
You have a role to take and a job to do. I pray you will do it.
That was a great message. The truth is always our power. The truth is that all things are subject to Christ and we cannot be defeated by the things of this world.
In order to stand firm, we must know Christ and his word!