It Is Written!
Jesus answered, “It is written : ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” NIV
A recent study indicated that a majority of Christians do not read their Bibles daily. Is it any wonder then that so many Christians are struggling, that so many Christians never go on to live lives that are consistent with their faith? Without the Word of God in our hearts and upon our lips, we are completely vulnerable.
It is instructive that Jesus continually answered those who came to question Him – whether it was the devil himself or just hard-hearted men full of doubt and unbelief or honest men in search of answers – with the words: “It is written….”
When He was tempted in the desert, when satan tried to cast doubt, He answered with the words, “It is written….” When people came to Him struggling with doubt, He reminded them of what His Father had spoken. Eighteen times in the NIV, Jesus was recorded as saying, “It is written…” before going on to declare what God had said about a particular issue or situation. For Jesus, if His Father had spoken it, that settled it. It was an enduring word, a spiritual law, an unchanging and immutable fact. It was like an anchor for Him in a world full of doubt and unbelief, in the shifting sands of time, in the storms of life.
It is also instructive that the men and women who spent time with Jesus caught from Him something about the power of the Word of God as well. When it came time for them to go forth on their own, they, too, put their faith in the Word of God. The words, “It is written” is found 40 times from the Book of Acts through the Book of Revelation in the NIV. And the early followers of Jesus discovered that amazing things happened when they stood on the Word of God and spoke the Word of God.
There is great power in the Word of God. Reinhardt Bonnke, the German evangelist, often says that the Word in your mouth has the same power as the Word in God’s mouth because the power is in the Word of God!
God has invested His Word with power. His Words are not empty; it never returns to Him void and unfruitful. His Word accomplishes its purpose and succeeds in its intent [Isaiah 55:11]. It is “alive and active” [Hebrews 4:12].
It’s the sword of the Spirit, our weapon against the attacks of the enemy, our battering ram against the strongholds of doubt and unbelief, our shield, our strong foundation, the rock upon which we stand.
The devil fears the Word of God because it exposes his lies and deception and renders him impotent. There were two great temptations recorded in the Bible – one in the Garden of Eden, the other in the desert. In both instances, the same tempter came to destroy the plan of God – his strategy was to use lies and deception to cause doubt and unbelief and, ultimately, rebellion against God. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve could have stopped the devil dead in his tracks by simply speaking and standing on the Word of God that had been given them but they did not, and the rest is history. In the desert, the devil tried the same strategy against Jesus but this time he was confronted by the Word of God and he lost.
What does this tell us? That there is great power in the Word of God. It was Jesus’ only defense and it proved more than enough. That’s why we need to immerse ourselves deeply in the Word, memorize it, reflect upon it, let it be constantly in our hearts, on our lips.
Let us not fool ourselves in this matter: no Christian can stand strong or live successfully without being firmly grounded in the Word. When we are firmly grounded in the Word, we are established on the Rock of Christ Jesus. It is life and it is strength. It nourishes the spirit, it empowers the mind, it calms the soul.
When the enemy comes against us to sow doubt, fear and worry, fight back with the Word of God. Tell him firmly, “It is written…” and then quote scripture back to him. When you feel down, when you are overwhelmed, when you are struggling, encourage yourself with the Word of God. You will be amazed at how different things will be.
And here’s something else to keep in mind: whenever we read and meditate upon the Word of God, something amazing takes place that goes far beyond the simple act of reading or reflecting upon the Word – we open ourselves to the supernatural in ways we cannot even begin to understand. It allows the Word of God to penetrate our spirit, our soul, our mind. It opens our inner being to the presence of God, to the mind of Christ, to the things of the Spirit. The inner man grows. The mind is transformed. The body is blessed.
Far greater than the power of the Word against the enemy is the power of the Word to touch, to transform, to renew, to revive, to build up our own lives. I’m convinced that we have not even begun to understand the power of the Word upon the life of the believer.
If we only knew the power of the Word, the vital necessity of the Word in the life of the believer, we would not treat it as an optional exercise, a duty or a chore. We would see it as something vital to our very survival and our success in life. And we would hunger for it more than we hunger for food.