When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the Devil, in Matthew 4:1-11, He defeated temptation by saying, “It is written.” He then quoted the appropriate scripture for each temptation. In doing this He has shown us how to effectively deal with the temptations the Devil throws our way.
I had always been advised to speak a specific verse when being tempted, but was overwhelmed with the thought of having to memorize the entire Bible. God made me realize it is not necessary to have the Bible memorized, but just the parts needed to defeat the Devil.
I am not saying to quit reading, studying and memorizing the Bible, but to win against temptation you must know the scripture that is specific to your temptation. For example; if you battle with anger, to memorize John 3:16 will not help you in your time of need. If you memorize James 1:20 “The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God,” it will help you overcome the temptation to become angry.
One of the scriptures I have used many times during my Christian walk is, Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
Growing up in the public school system, they effectively taught evolution and not God as creator. This causes doubt in my mind saying, “Is God real or is it all in my mind?” In using this scripture and others, I am able to believe by faith that God is real, winning the battle.
In order to win these battles you must also believe by faith the scriptures that you use. Do not merely cite the scripture because it sounds good, but one that God has given you through prayer and study.
Jesus tells us a parable in Luke 8:4-15 about 4 different types of hearers. The first is one who hears the word and does not believe it. The second is one who hears the word, believes it, but when tempted falls away. The third is one that hears the word, believes it, but allows circumstances to keep them from bearing fruit. The last one hears the word holds fast to the word and bears much fruit.
The secret to the one who bears much fruit is holding fast to the word which was heard.
The first one heard the word but dismissed it. The second heard the word but thought it made more sense to do it “my way.” The third one heard the word and said, “I don’t want to change the way I live.” The last one took the word that he heard and held onto it, using it to defeat the temptations the other three fell into.
Psalm 119:11 “Thy word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.”
Father, thank you for the truth of your word and help us to use your word to defeat temptations when they come our way. In the name of Jesus, amen