One of the most effective ways to identify and counter Satan’s attacks is to know your Bible. It’s not enough to read the Bible casually. We must apply its teachings to our lives; its sacred truths must be engraved in our hearts. What better way to accomplish this than by memorizing Scripture—a practice neglected by many.
Indeed, Jesus set an example to provide us with a reason why memorizing Scripture ought to be regarded as one of the most essential disciplines.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. (2) After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was very hungry. (3) Then the tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread.’ (4) Jesus answered, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (5) Then the devil took him to the holy city, set him on the highest point of the Temple, (6) and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, He will command his angels concerning you, to bear you up with their hands, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ (7) Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, You shall not test the Lord your God.’ (8) Again, the devil took him up to an exceedingly high mountain to show him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, (9) and said to him, ‘I will give you all these things if you will bow down and worship me.’ (10) Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get away from me, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ (11) Then the devil left him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him. (Matthew 4:1-11)
Satan will come at you from all directions. He will even use Scripture out of context to try to deceive you, just as he attempted to do with Jesus (v. 6). However, like Jesus, you can defeat the enemy with Scripture. It’s a matter of reading the Bible daily, and making this practice a priority in your life.
How well versed are you in the Scriptures? How much of the Bible have you committed to memory? Do you know it well enough to identify when someone’s using Scripture out of context? Do you know which verses to recall when temptation strikes? These questions are crucial to our faith, because our answer to them identifies how much we value the Word of God. If we place little value on the Scriptures, then how could we expect to live an abundant life in Christ?
If the devil was bold enough to attempt to attack Jesus, how much more will he try to do the same to you? If Jesus looked to the Scriptures as a means to identify and counter the enemy’s attack, how much more do you need to do the same? It’s tragic when professing Christians spend more time watching fruitless programs on television than reading the Bible. This says a lot about how much they value the Word of God.
All Scripture is God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
When people neglect to use the Scriptures for their intended purpose they become easy prey to the enemy, and thus they fall into temptation. Though they may think they’re standing on solid ground, they aren’t, because they aren’t following Jesus’ example of feasting on the Scriptures daily. They’re indulging in the pleasures of the world instead.
But he answered and said, It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)
Many people profess to believe in Jesus but live as though they don’t want to follow his example. When Jesus delighted in doing the will of the Father, these people do the opposite, finding greater pleasure in worldly-minded affairs. Jesus gave us a powerful example of how to deal with temptation, no doubt; yet people behave in such a way as to give the impression that what was good for him isn’t good for them. In their hearts, the cares of the world take precedence over the will of our heavenly Father. Thus, they spend more time doing unnecessary things than doing what is essential to maintaining an intimate connection with God. It’s no wonder they keep falling into the same sins. They repeatedly fall into temptation because they aren’t making an earnest effort to walk as Jesus walked.
Do you want to overcome the enemy? Do you want to experience the power of the Scriptures in a way unlike you have before? If so, then you need to walk in Jesus’ steps and start memorizing Scripture. By doing this you will be able to use the Bible as a means to identify and ward off the enemy, just like Jesus. As you elevate the Bible to a higher level in your heart, you will stand strong against temptation, and cause the devil to flee from you.
You can begin doing this right now, by memorizing the following passage:
Do not rely on your own understanding, but trust in the LORD with all your heart. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will direct your paths. Do not be self-conceited, but fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)