The idea of a ‘Jesus Smart’ lifestyle is that we quest to learn and practice the brilliance of Jesus. We think the outcome is worth it. Now. Next month. This year. And, of course, forever …
Let’s highlight a simple and effective approach to handling temptation, resistance, and even “spiritual warfare.”
We can be empowered for new levels like Jesus
Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist …
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'” (Matthew 3:16-17 NKJ).
The Father’s spoke identity and acceptance over the Son. Then, immediately the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (See Jesus’ experience of overcoming the devil at the beginning of his public ministry in Matthew 4:1-11.)
Luke writes that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and returned in the “power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:1-14). Life tip for us—as Jesus overcame, he was progressively empowered for new levels.
Jesus shows us how to defeat the devil: “It Is Written!”
When the devil came against Jesus in the wilderness with oppressive temptation, Jesus countered with, “It is written!”
Temptation/attack: “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become to bread.” The devil attacked Jesus’ identity and sense of self-preservation. Would Jesus rely on the natural alone?
Response: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ ” (verses 3-4 NKJ; quoting Deuteronomy 8:3). Jesus “answered” the evil suggestion by speaking the written Word of God.
Temptation/attack: The devil then tried to seduce Jesus to make a big splash, to advance himself before the people. “Make a big scene in the center of things and throw yourself from the Temple! The angels will take care of you. Why wait for the Father’s way and timing?”
Response: “Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God’ ‘ ” (verses 5-7 NKJ).
Temptation/attack: The devil then offered the kingdoms of the world to Jesus if he would only worship him. They were his to offer due to humanity’s disobedience and fall. Both Jesus and the devil knew the nations were the endgame.
Response: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ‘ ” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (verses 8-11 NKJ).
Jesus resisted and overcame each temptation by responding with a verbal declaration of the Word of God. And the devil had to leave his presence!
There is power in speaking the pure Word of God in faith! If Jesus spoke the written Word of God … then we should too. As we follow the model of Jesus, we’ll walk in the victory of Jesus.
Say what God said
I believe that God speaks to us personally today. He has never stopped speaking. We should cherish and value his personal words to us. Paul coached Timothy to fight the excellent fight in harmony with the prophecies spoken over him (see 1 Timothy 1:18).
And yet Jesus dealt with the devil by declaring the written Word of God, not the personal word the Father spoke over Jesus at his baptism. Or any other words.
We should declare personal words of prophecy in prayer and confession. But the priority is the written Scripture.
We can’t just read and study the Word of God—it can’t merely be in our heads. It must be united in our hearts with faith and then declared.
INCREASE SCRIPTURE INTAKE. Store up the Word in your heart. Give the Holy Spirit something to work with … all the time, but especially in times of crisis or opportunity. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you …” (Colossians 3:16 NAS).
INVEST IN QUALITY MEDITATION. Allow the thoughts of God in the written Word to penetrate and take root in your inner man. “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night … whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:2-3 NKJ).
DECREE THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD AS NECESSARY. Wield the sword of the Spirit in prayer as necessary! “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (rhema, spoken word) of God” (Ephesians 6:17 NAS).
God’s Word never fails! Nothing or no one can stop it! “Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ ” (Ecclesiastes 8:4 NAS).
“It is written!” could be the most vital thing you ever say.