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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Warfare Preparedness (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10)

"Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
"Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

The LORD tells Moses that a day will come when the people will want a king like the nations around them (Deut. 17:14ff), so He gives five criteria to prepare them for that day. The last on the list requires the king to obtain a copy of the Law from the scribe and to write his own copy and read it all the days of his life.

Three times Jesus quotes from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy in his conversation with the devil (6:13; 16; 8:3). This "King of the Jews" knew the Scriptures. He may have written His own copy, we don't know, but we do know that He knew the Scriptures.
Deuteronomy isn't the typical book that one would refer to in the midst of spiritual warfare, yet Jesus quotes from this book three times as he engages the enemy. What does this teach us about spiritual warfare and the Scriptures?
  • Knowing only a few "favorite" Scriptures limits your ability to engage successfully in spiritual warfare. Dabbling in the Scriptures won't prepare you to face the enemy.
  • You've got to have a working knowledge of the Scriptures in order to use the Scriptures accurately.
  • You've got to know the Scriptures long before you actually have to use them in warfare. Spiritual warfare requires Scriptural preparedness. It is always too late to prepare when the enemy is already upon you.
  • The devil doesn't play fair. He comes to you at your weakest when you are stripped of all your resources, but if you know the Scriptures, that is enough. You most likely will not have time to find a Bible or find a passage when you need it most, therefore, it must be known well, memorized and hidden in your heart.
Jesus modeled what He taught, "Abide in me and my Words abide you" (John 15:7).

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading: Mark 1:9-20; Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34; Matthew 4:1-11, 18-20; Luke 4:1-13; John 1:35-51; Luke 5:1-11
  • Why does Jesus submit himself to John the Baptist for baptism?
  • What goal does Satan have in his temptations?
  • How does Jesus respond to each temptation? What does this tell you about the Word?
  • What does Satan do with Scripture? What does this tell you about how he works today?
  • Where else in the Bible do we see someone conversing with Satan and what are the consequences?
  • What does John the Baptist say that cause two of his disciples to follow Jesus?
  • What is the first thing Andrew does after spending the day with Jesus?
  • What does Jesus say the moment He meets Simon Peter? What does this tell you about Jesus?
  • How does Philip describe Jesus to Nathanael? What does this tell you about Philip?
  • What confession about Jesus does Nathanael make and how does Jesus respond?
  • What visual does Jesus use to demonstrate his calling on Simon's life? What does this tell you about Jesus?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to help you prepare for spiritual warfare by knowing the Scriptures well.