Another weekend is almost in sight and as it approaches, let us look at a verse in the Psalms. In Psalm 119:11, King David wrote the following, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.“
Do you remember when the devil, also called satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11)? Knowing that it was a time when Jesus will be most vulnerable, satan targeted his attack, disguised as an appeal to Jesus’ hunger. After all, Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights and would therefore not only have been hungry but also very weak. Recognizing so, satan’s approach was to tempt Jesus to turn stones into bread (hamburger by today’s menu).
When we look at the request, on the surface it seemed very harmless. After all, this was Jesus and what’s the big deal about turning a few stones into bread? He will be justified in doing so, it appears. In fact, you and I will jump at such an opportunity to show off our powers if such occasion met us. And we will justify why we are showing off.
However, not so with Jesus. He was not ignorant of satan’s wiles so He rebuffed satan by quoting the Old Testament, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Ah! It sure pays to know God’s Word and hide it in our heart. Thrice satan tried, and thrice Jesus rebuffed him with Scripture.
This same satan today tempts us in so many ways that, similar to Jesus’ situation, it seems harmless; and this devil also tempts us at our most vulnerable time or in our weakest spot. And once we are hooked (like substance abusers), he comes in for the kill even as we sink deeper and deeper in our sin. You know, the three temptations that satan submitted Jesus to do correspond to temptations common to us today: the lust of the flesh represents hunger of all types (e.g. sexual, in terms of adultery or fornication); lust of the eyes or covetousness; and pride or lust for power.
The thing is that lying at the heart of all temptations, as we see here, is the selfish act of pushing God aside because ignorant or not, we perceive Him as secondary. And do you know what? We do so in comparison with what we think is the most important and most legitimate thing in our life.
So since we know that satan will most often tempt us at a point of legitimate need, I think it is important for us to ensure that we address this need in a timely fashion. How? We do so with the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance from the Word of God. In doing so, we will be able to avoid filling that need through sinful, self-destructive ways!
You see, trying to construct a world of our own by our own effort and by our own strength, without the Holy Spirit, the Word of God or even a reference to God is tantamount to building on our own foundation; a foundation of sand, I might add. And you know what will happen! Our efforts will crumple and crumble then collapse. Look at Jesus’ example.
When satan tempted Jesus, Jesus rebuffed him with the Living Word; Jesus quoted Scripture. Likewise, it is incumbent on us to know God’s Word; it is also important that we memorize and meditate on it as David did. Then will we, like Jesus, be able to quote that particular Scripture to satan, just like Jesus did. You see, if you don’t have the Word hidden in your heart, how can you quote it? To put it another way, how can you share or give what you do not have? What Jesus had, He gave, and what He gave was the Word, which was preceded by “It is written…”.
Do you have the Word stored in your heart? Do you have the content of The Book guiding you? The Bible will protect you and make you wise. In case you are not aware, I’d like to mention or warn you that This Book, the Bible, will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book. That is a fact.
Proposed prayer: “Dear Father, because of Your Son Jesus’ example and what He went through, I know that Jesus is able to sympathize with my struggles and give me the exact help I need to resist temptation. Please, I ask that You give me more love for Your holy Word, the Bible. I also ask for help to store it in my heart, to memorize and use it (like Jesus did) whenever when I am tempted. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”