Christ was tempted in all points like us, yet without sin. He was tempted (1) physically, (2) emotionally, and (3) spiritually. We will be tested at all three levels as well. There was one consistent defense that our Lord used. Filled with the Holy Spirit’s power, confronted by the false spirit’s power, He quoted the Spirit-inspired Scripture, relying on the Word. (From the Bible we know that Jesus’ mind was saturated with biblical truth.) It is striking to notice that He didn’t merely rely on the Word in His thinking alone. He quite literally “spoke it aloud,” addressing the area of temptation and speaking directly to the tempter about it, using Scripture as His guide to throwing off satanic attack.
Notice that He had been (1) filled with the Spirit and He used (2) the Word. This was done (3) in the context of praying against the temptation of an evil spirit. Both of these together—the leading of the Spirit and the power of the Word—come together to direct us in our battle with temptation and the evil one, especially in the context of prayer. They are never to be separated.
Paul understood this when writing of dealing with satanic attack: “and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17-18).
In order to succeed against the powers of darkness we will need an attitude of reverence toward the Word of God. We must make a plan to learn it, read it, memorize it, and when confronted by any trial from the tempter to separate us from our relationship with God, to speak the Word aloud in our praying to defeat the influence of evil. As we immerse ourselves in the Word, the Spirit of God will direct us into speaking it against the temptations we encounter.
Living Word of God, You alone are holy and I bow before You! Spirit of God, direct my heart into the depths of the Word whenever I face trials and temptations. Give me a deep desire to read, learn, memorize and obey Your powerful Word, which is the sword of the Spirit! May I stand upon the truth of the Word, recognizing its power to help me overcome anything the enemy would throw against me. Living Word of God, You alone are holy and I bow before You!
–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God as the Rock, your stronghold and fortress (Ps. 144:1-2). Thank him for being a solid foundation on which to stand spiritually, so that nothing can shake you (Mt. 7:24-25). Confess those times in your life when you have stepped off the rock solid foundation of God’s Word and relied on your own understanding. Commit yourself to building your life on Christ’s teachings. Ask God to help you plant your feet firmly in his Word each day.
Pray for the devotional times of the families that you know, that regular times of prayer and Bible reading will help bond family members to each other and to God. Pray that your single friends may find a group of spiritual brothers and sisters to do this with as well.