Grip God's Word! He Is Handing You His Sword!
By Donald Chipmay
If you are born of God, you were born to conquer. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).
"But how shall I resist Satan?" someone asks. The standard example is that of the Lord Jesus Himself, in His representative temptation as the Federal Head of a new race. He used the Sword. The Sword is the Word of God, not merely two-edged, but all edge. Christ quoted the Word. He did not cry to the Father only, but He turned on the devil with the authoritative words of Holy Writ. There was nothing complicated about it. He drew the Sword and used it. Then the devil left Him – first for a season, then fully, till the final scene on Calvary, when all the forces of hell massed to the scene and were beaten (Col. 2:15).
He did not summon angels, nor display that power which was His right as God the Son. He did what we all need to do – He used the Word of God. To Him it was final and sufficient – the very power of God. He was handling Omnipotent and Divine authority – God Himself in spoken form! How inadequately this expresses it! But there it is. He knew the Word. He counted it sufficient. He used it. But He used it against the devil. Against! Against! Against!
"It Is Written" (Matthew 4:4)
He did not quote it to His Father or recall it merely to refresh His own soul. The devil had said, "It is written," but the Lord said more than that. He said, "Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written...." Note that. He spoke to the devil and told him to go. And to you He has delegated the same authority in giving to His believing people power over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).
Do not speak lightly about these things. The Holy Spirit has anticipated the tendency to lightness on this subject with the warning, "Be sober." All light and loose talk on the subject is so much fuel for the devil’s fire, and it is not too much to say that while some people are mechanically saying, "Alleluia," the devil is planning to steal a march upon them. So be deliberate – and reverently and solemnly use the Word. It will do all it says.
All down the ages, Satan has striven to rob the man of God of his Sword. You can never use with assurance what you doubt.
The Word is the oracle of the Most High. It will do all it says, and to believe less is to doubt the veracity of the Almighty. Myriads have launched and staked their lives upon it and proved it to be true. Theological views and brain spinning are of no use. In the last resource you have to come to the Bible, to "it is written," and unless you are there, hell will surely hem you in and draw its toll. So watch you do not lose your Sword. Soak yourself in the Word of God. Grip it! Use it as the Sword of Omnipotence – of God, the Holy Ghost!
Peter’s faith was tested in the devil’s sieve, and yours may be too. What can you do? I know what I did. I remember taking hold of the Book, holding it aloft and saying, "I believe in the God of this Book (Heb. 11:6); and all that this Book means to me as a redeemed soul, I take and stand upon, though I feel nothing. I refuse all the devil’s lies, for all that contradicts God’s Word is Satan’s lie."
And do you know, it is marvelous what a start like that will do! It is like pouring a jug of water into a dry pump. Something lower down is discovered and moves (John 4:14) – the real life-stream from God is set in motion. That is resisting the devil.
Satan’s Obsession and Oppression
But further, one day you may have a nasty tumble. You prided yourself you could never fall there, but unknowingly the devil undermined your citadel, perhaps by subtle inroads upon your feelings and affections. Gradually you cooled down in prayer and lost the keen edge of witness. It became mechanical and powerless, though you would not admit it to others. Or maybe you made too much of your experience and too little of Christ. Anyway, you fell, and then the cloud gathered and you were enveloped.
Satan accuses, harasses and torments. Oh the agony! And try as you will, you cannot ward off these accusations of Satan. "Ah, I will confess," comes the thought. Happy soul, if sin is the trouble, if you can get as far as that, it is a sure road to the way out (1 John 1:9). But it may not always sweep the decks as clean as you thought.
I have known souls to spend hours upon their faces before God seeking deliverance, and also to confess their sin to others. But assure them as you might of the unmatchable, immeasurable forgiveness of God – for past, present and future, they could get no settled peace. I knew one man who spent sixteen years in that state. The devil ceaselessly obsessed him with one incident wherein he "disobeyed the light." A saved man, but silenced! Because he would not face this question about the devil.
Are you silenced? The forgiveness of sins is not merely according to your confession, but "according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7).
That is the message of the Ascended Lord! When recourse to confession and the blood of Christ will not give you peace, as ordinarily it should do, when the next stage of declaring that you are in Christ, a new creature, will not release you – remember that the devil is an accuser (Rev. 12:9-11).
You Must Resist Satan!
Oh, the ceaseless, nagging comment from the spirits of evil that invade this dark world! How long some souls have suffered under its torment and all because, in many cases, they did not resist the devil. The Lord silenced the demons. He suffered them not to speak (Mark 1:34). I have known many to dare to do this in the name of the Lord and become gloriously free.
There comes to me the case of a missionary who had to leave the foreign field because of broken health that had followed a tirade of devilish accusations upon him. Poor man, he was almost mad, and in despair. It was just one thing being constantly made the ground accusation.
"But there is forgiveness," I said. "You have owned up, as you must do, and now you must rest on the fact that the Blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses you from all sin. Not some sins, but all" (1 John 1:7-9). He would go on well for a time; but when the assault recurred he would be as one in a frenzy. "My brother," I said eventually, "You will never break this thing until you, in the Name of the Lord, turn on the devil."
"Am I not presumptuous – will it not do if I pray to the Lord?" he asked.
"But you have prayed," I reminded him, "and you get no better. The need in this case is to resist the devil,' (Jas. 4:7), on the authority the Word of God. Tell him he is a liar (John 8:44), that God has cursed him from the beginning (Gen. 3:14); that Christ has conquered him on Calvary (Heb. 2:14), and that you say ‘Amen,' to all that that means against him. Then speak to Satan in the Name of the Lord, as Christ spoke, saying, 'Get thee hence, Satan,' – and go straight on, assured that God will be with you.''
In his agony that man fell upon his knees. He acted upon the Word of God! He resisted Satan. He said, "Satan, you are a defeated foe! It is written that we overcome you 'by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [our] testimony!' Get thee hence, Satan!
"I stand on the Word of God! On the authority of His Word, in Jesus' mighty Name, and reckoning on His finished work on the Cross, I resist you, Satan! I overcome you by the Blood of the Lamb. My testimony is that you are a defeated foe. Get thee hence, Satan!'' (Rev. 12:11; Heb. 2:14, 15; Col. 2:14, 15; 1 John 3:8b).
That man became one of the best Christian workers I know, because he dared to use the Sword in that way!
Beloved, these things are real. Their parallel in the church could be multiplied a thousand fold. Where do you stand? What are you doing to swell the ranks of those who "labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in [them] mightily" (Col. 1:29)?
Do you know anything about the might of the Risen Christ operating through you? You, beloved, filled with Christ, in His power and supremacy, as well as in His meekness and humility? Do not live a one-sided life. Meekness and gentleness are rare and precious qualities; but "the Lamb" is also the "Lion" (Rev. 5:5-13).
"Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but…against the rulers of the darkness of this world…Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph. 6:10-13).