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, in the new heavens and new earth (Isaiah 65:17-19, Revelation 21:1-5)
Let’s highlight a simple and effective approach Jesus modeled when handling temptation, resistance, and even spiritual warfare — we can defeat the devil with the expressed Word of God.
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 NKJV).
The Father expressed 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.
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One of the main principles we need to understand is that God’s Word and God’s Spirit always work together. They work in perfect harmony. We see this from the very beginning of the Bible. The statement in Genesis 1:2 affirms this truth: “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Then the next verse states, “God said” that is, God’s Word went forth. Right at the beginning of creation, we see the Word and the Spirit of God working together.
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!”
First wilderness 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?
Jesus “answered” the evil suggestion by expressing the written Word of God.
Second wilderness 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?”
Jesus’ response: “Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God’ ‘ ” (Matthew 4:5-7 NKJV).
Third wilderness 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.
Jesus’ 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” (Matthew 4:8-11 NKJV).
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!
John wrote, “I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14 ESV). The abiding Word of God within creates strength to overcome the evil one. We hide it in our hearts. We walk in it. And we declare it.
Can I challenge you to try it? You may want to arrange Scriptures that are relevant to particular challenges or opportunities — list them on a note app on your phone, use index cards, or write them in your journal.
I believe you’ll see results as you speak the Word of God out loud in faith.
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.
Brian Del Turco
Defeat the devil by saying what God said
The New Testament word for “confession” means to say the same thing.
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. We should declare personal words of prophecy in prayer and confession.
But the priority is the written Scripture. Major on the Scripture. And minor on the personal words.
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 out loud.
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 NASB).
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 NKJV).
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 (Gk., rhema, spoken word) of God” (Ephesians 6:17 NASB).
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 NASB).