Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
Mike Bickle, in his book Passion for Jesus, wrote: “Jesus had no sin, wrong thinking or impure motives that gave Satan legal access to His life. Satan could find nothing in Jesus—not one inch of territory—to which he could lay claim and thus gain access to Jesus’ heart. The enemy continually seeks occasions where he can obtain a legal entry point into our lives. Just as Jesus resisted and conquered Satan’s effort to tempt him by using the Word of God, so we must use the scripture like a sword to defeat Satan’s effort to gain entry into our lives” (p. 85).
In Scripture, the first command uttered by Christ is “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). This particular command was spoken by Jesus to the devil. Jesus had been taken into the wilderness by the Spirit of God for forty days and nights, and there was tempted by the devil. The Bible says, “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry” (Matthew 4:2).
Employing a device he uses with all of us, Satan saw a potential moment of weakness and sought to destroy Jesus at that very point. He urged Jesus to turn the stones into bread—to perform a spectacular miracle to satisfy his own physical need, which was contrary to the will of God. It was at this crucial juncture that Jesus refused the devil and resisted him by quoting, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus is indicating the importance of the spiritual versus the physical as the support of the very essence of life.
The important lesson for us is that we can resist the devil, just as Jesus did, by using the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). In fact, we can live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. At that time and in that situation, the meaning of Jesus’ words was, “I am not going to yield to your will. I am going to continue to do the will of God no matter how hungry I get.” There are many instances in the Bible when the devil is battled using the Word of God such as Psalm 119:11: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Prayerfully consider how you can use God’s word to stand firm in the days in which we live.
Lord Jesus, You were the ultimate example of how to do battle with our enemy, the devil. Protect me from his evil schemes as he seeks to tempt me and lure me from the path of righteousness. I want to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God so that I might know and do His good, pleasing and perfect will every day of my life.
–Adapted from Encountering Jesus (Praying the Commands of Christ into Your Life) by Norval Hadley. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God as the source of all true wisdom and discernment (Col. 2:3). Thank him for supplying his church with the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and the ability to distinguish between spirits (1 Cor. 12:8-10). Confess those times when you have failed to discern the cultural influences that try to choke out spiritual growth and fruitfulness. Commit yourself to testing the spirits to see whether they are from God (1 Jn. 4:1). Ask God to make you more aware of the reality of spiritual warfare in your life (Eph. 6:10-12).
Ask God to lift the spiritual blindness from political leaders in your country, that they may make decisions that help create a wholesome and God-honoring society.
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