Friday, June 14, 2013

Wielding the Sword

Blessed is the man who endures temptation:  for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God", for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  The, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
James 1:12-16 (NKJ)
As Christians we WILL BE tested in our walk with the Lord.  In fact, the truth is we will have numerous tests and temptations throughout our lives.  In the last devotional we looked at how we have a choice to either cry out to the Lord when tempted or hang around temptation long enough until we succumb to it.  Now let's look at a tool the Lord has provided for us which will enable us to endure temptation and "receive that crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
Matthew 4:1-11 tells about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness and how He used the Word of God in a showdown with Satan.  I like what my NKJ Bible's footnote* has to say about Jesus' temptation:  "From the divine standpoint, it means a positive test; from the Devil's standpoint it implies enticement to sin; from Jesus' standpoint, it is a challenge from Satan to test God's sovereignty and plan."
The footnotes also go on to explain why it was important that Jesus used the Word when Satan challenged God's sovereignty.  "Word in this text comes from a Greek word, rhema.  It means 'that which is said or spoken, an utterance', in contrast to logos, which is the expression of a thought, a message, a discourse.  Logos is the message and rhema is the communication of the message...The meaning of rhema in distinction to logos is illustrated in Ephesians 6:17, where the reference is not to the Scriptures as a whole, but to that portion which the believer wields as a Sword in the time of need."  The rhema Word of God is active and powerful while fortifying and supporting the logos Word of God
Jesus' defense against Satan actually was an active offense where He used specific portions of God's Word to combat the devil.  When Satan comes at you in an attempt to test God's sovereignty in your life, one of your greatest defenses is in wielding the powerful Sword of the Spirit.  As the wielder of the Sword, it ensures your victory over the enemy every time.
  *Jack Hayford's New Spirit Filled Life Bible

Application of God's Word:

1.  Do you realize that when you are able to apply specific application of God's Word to your trial or situation, you are wielding the rhema Sword of the Spirit?

2.  You can endure temptation by using the same words Jesus said, "It is written..."

3.    Are you wrestling with temptation even now?  What specific scriptures apply to your situation which you can use to withstand Satan and the flesh?  When you wield the Word of God and use it, Satan will have to flee.

4.  God is for you and He believes in your victory by providing you with a powerful tool.  Read Hebrews 4:12.

Personal Matters:

You do realize I'm "preaching" to myself on this one cuz', unfortunately, I've gained 12 pounds over the past few months.  The truth is I haven't even tried to fight the temptation to overeat and have managed to justify my actions time and time again.  Do I have to eat the entire half gallon of Rocky Road Ice Cream?  According to Satan, I deserve that ice cream because I've had a rough day and every bite will comfort me and soothe my tattered ego.  And you know...temporarily, it does appease me; however, it doesn't go to the depth of my soul and bring the lasting comfort I desire.  The absolute truth is, according the God's Word, only He can satisfy the longings of my soul.  If I taste and see that the Lord is good, I will be satisfied.  There are two things I need to do:  1)  cry out to God knowing He will give me strength to endure the temptation, and 2)  use the rhema Word of God by applying God's truth to my particular situation and using it to expose the lies of the enemy.
Here's why I believe Satan has to flee when I use the active and alive (rhema) Word of God:  God doesn't lie, His Word is truth.  The truth of God's Word brings to Light the lies of the enemy which lurk in the dark corners of my mind and emotions exposing those lies for what they really are...fabrications of a doomed being.  The truth of God's Word overpowers the lies of the enemy causing those lies to lose their grip on my life.

You know, instead of picking up the spoon I need to start picking up the Sword of the Spirit.  How about you?  Are you struggling with a temptation right now?  If we all choose to wield the living and active Word of God, Satan will have to flee and we will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

(P.S.  There's an addendum in the comment section of this post which might be worth reading.  I pray it will encourage you.)


1 comment:

  1. I had an incident happen this morning (won't go into details) but someone wasn't happy with me at all. It was unintentional on my part but it still caused frustration for me and the other person. My first instinct was to run to the kitchen cupboards which I did. Then I got to thinking about what God has been talking to me about over the past few know, the temptation thing...and using the Sword of Spirit He has equipped me to use. Even though I wanted to eat anything and everything I could get me hands on, I took a deep breath and called out to God for His strength. He met me there in that kitchen. Sitting down with my Bible, a devotional book and a journal I began to read scripture and pour out to God about what was eating me. He immediately brought peace and comfort to me spirit and soul.

    I then put on a CD by Andrew Wommack, "How to Receive a Miracle." Wow! I had "church" this morning while cleaning my house. God brought to me what I needed to hear exactly at the time I needed to hear. It was so totally cool. What God has been trying to say to my spirit and what I've attempted to write in my blog, Rev. Wommack was able to wrap words around while making sense of it all. (He has a website and I would encourage you to go online and listen to some of his teachings.)

    One of the things he stated was, "God's word is true. It is truth. If you keep your mind on the Word of God, you will have Word of God results." That would be the powerful and active rhema Word of God I wrote about. He also stated, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing is a present tense verb. We should be hearing the Word of God on a daily basis." If I am actively seeking to use the rhema Word of God, meditating on it day and night, it will be an effectual weapon in my hands.

    God is so good. He is for us and will make a way for us to endure temptation and flee from it. Whoo-hoo!