The Right Answer, The Only Answer
I feel like playing a little “Jeopardy” today. Ready? Good. Let’s begin.
Answers. A slingshot with a stone. A bow without an arrow. A rifle without a bullet. A tank without a shell. A stealth fighter without a bomb. A Christian who hasn’t hidden the word of God in their hearts.
Question. What are 6 things that are unprepared for the time of battle?
Sorry. I imagine some of you have already begun to put on the robe of condemnation. You read that last line about His Word and your first thought was one of failure. If you are anything like me, you know you should read the Bible but your daily practice leaves a lot to be desired. My desire this morning is not to add guilt but rather to encourage each of us. There is one amazing yet subtle lesson in Jesus’ battle with temptation that has tremendous value for each of us. Although it is nothing that you haven’t heard before, my hope is that the truth of His example will spark a fresh desire inside of you today to be a person who commits His word to memory.
Think for just a minute about Jesus’ response to the devil’s temptation. Jesus’ answer is the point where victory begins and temptation begins to lose it’s pull. Three small words that possess within them the unlimited power of God Himself. What did Jesus say? “It is written,…” In fact, it would be His standard answer to each temptation that He encountered. Not opinion. Not what He felt. Not what He thought. He gave only one answer. He gave the right answer. He answered temptation with the word of God.
Now, here’s the thing I want us to remember today. Jesus didn’t pull out a pocket sized edition of the Torah. He wasn’t carrying around the scrolls that He had borrowed from the local synagogue. He didn’t type “temptation” into a computer search engine and then click on an appropriate response. No phone call to ask for advice. No group of counselors to provide Him with wisdom. When the moment of testing came in all it’s fury Jesus turned to the only place He could for help. He looked within His own heart. And there He found the word of God, hidden away, and ready to be used in His time of need.
Most of us will never fully appreciate the value of memorizing scripture until it is too late. During those peacfeul times when temptation is nowhere on the horizon we have a bad habit of neglecting the things that really matter. Ask any soldier and they will tell you…it’s too late to load your gun in the heat of battle. The best thing you can do is to be ready and be prepared. Don’t wait until temptation is staring you in the face. By then it will be way too late to call a “timeout” and run home to get your Strong’s Concordance. Take advantage of today by preparing for tomorrow. Get into the word of God and let the word of God get into you. You might not “feel” any different. But the next time temptation comes trespassing univited on the lawn of your life, you will be ready to answer with a loaded gun.