I've been working my way through the Bible this year and I FINALLY hit the New Testament last week! As I'm going through the gospels I already know there is going to be SO much I want to share with you all. So let's start in Matthew chapter 4, the story of 'The Temptation of Jesus.'
After reading this chapter I finally realized one of the biggest reasons to read + know scripture... + it's definitely not that it makes us feel good! We need to read + know the scriptures because the enemy knows them extremely well. Did you read that right? The enemy knows + can quote scripture. That's a HUGE problem for us if we don't make it a priority to also know + memorize them.
Let me explain what I mean:
"1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry. 3 Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
The first thing the enemy (aka 'the tempter') does is question Jesus's IDENTITY and ask Him to 'prove' His sonship through an action.
(Side note: In verse 2, Jesus begins to fast + the verse says he was HUNGRY! This is so important to note because for 40 days + 40 nights in the wilderness, the enemy did not approach Jesus. It was when he saw Him in a place of weakness (for humans) that he decided to approach and tempt Him. How many of you (my hand is raised up high) have made decisions or done things you wouldn't have done because you were 'tempted' or 'tested' when you weren't 100%? Hungry, emotionally exhausted, had a few sleepless nights, or stressed beyond measure?? Yes, friends. The enemy actually targets us when we are off our game. If he did it to Jesus, he will do it to us. So that's one more reason to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF + love on our body!)
4 But He answered, “It is written:
Man must not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes
from the mouth of God.”
Jesus then uses scripture to defend Himself, keeping in line with Ephesians 6:10-18, but here is where it gets really interesting! Keep in mind Jesus's phrase, "IT IS WRITTEN."
5 Then the Devil took Him to the holy city, had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
He will give His angels orders concerning you,
and they will support you with their hands
so that you will not strike
your foot against a stone.”
The enemy then comes back at Jesus with the same phrase! "IT IS WRITTEN." The enemy used the word of God to attack THE word of God. The enemy is clever, he watches our actions and then reacts based on the beliefs we show him. For example, by using the word of God as a weapon to defend Himself, Jesus showed that He believed in the power and authority of scripture. So now the enemy is making an attempt to use Him own weapon against Him.
7 Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.”
Because Jesus knows scripture inside and out, He is able to see that the enemy has twisted the meaning to try and get Him to give in. He then is able to once again defend Himself using the word of God.
8 Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.”
In a final desperate plea, the enemy offers the entire world to Jesus IF He will just fall down and worship him. Don't you just love how there is always an "if" attached to the offers of the world?
10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written:
Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only Him.”
Finally Jesus COMMANDS Satan to leave Him and uses yet another scripture to do so.
11 Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him."
(From Matthew 4 HCSB)
Y'all. I cannot stress enough why we so desperately need to get in scripture, memorize it, know the meaning of it, and keep it constantly on our tongues. It is our only weapon and the only one we need. The enemy cannot prevail against the word of the FATHER, but he can misquote or twist it to try and subdue YOU.
I'm sure everyone reading this has been in a situation where you have been so sure of yourself and your belief, but then someone you believe knows more than you makes a statement that shuts you down... what if you had been so well read and knew the research inside and out that you could respond with, "IT IS ALSO WRITTEN!" That would be SUCH a game changer.