Just as the saying goes: “Evil thrives when good men remain silent”, the same is applied in our everyday temptations that: temptations triumph because the people of God don’t exercise their God given authority of speaking out.
The things we hear (evil or holy) takes time to sink in and plant itself in our hearts; so the most dangerous thing we can do with evil words is to pay attention to them and hear them out. This is what occurred in the Garden of Eden when Eve was listening to the ‘snake talk.’ Basically, the whole message of the snake was: “God doesn’t love you, God is holding out on you, God is fooling you.” Although these may seem outright lies, but the more Adam and Eve listened to the snake, the more they believed it.
Skeptics would usually ask me, if God is fair and loving, why would He place the snake in the garden with Adam and Eve? Sounds like God was planning for man to fall all along right? NO, God NEVER wanted man to suffer. Yes, God did allow the devil to dwell in The Garden with man but God also did give man the authority over ALL things in The Garden (Genesis 1:26), this includes the devil in the snake suit. Adam and Eve with their God ordained authority could have easily commanded the snake to leave them alone and the snake would have no choice but to obey. Instead, they submitted to the snake and ended up relinquishing man’s righteousness with God.
We see a parallel of this story on the temptations of Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:1-11). Christ was already suffering in the desert, but God still allowed the devil to tempt Him (Don’t you just think it’s fair? That Adam had to be tempted in paradise while The Lord had to be tempted in a desert?). And Christ, like Adam, had the authority to drive the devil away with His words. The only difference between the 2 is the setting and the outcome. For Adam was tempted when he already had everything (he’s tempted of a fruit when he had all the fruits of paradise!) while Jesus Christ was tempted when He was suffering in the desert (Jesus was tempted of food when He had absolutely no food!). Not only that, do take note that Adam and Eve were only tempted once, while Christ, The Lord, was tempted thrice. Yet, it was Jesus Christ who was able to defeat temptation. This reminds me of Paul’s description of Jesus’ perfect humanity:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
What did The Lord Jesus Christ do to resist temptation? He did what Adam and Eve did not do. Jesus used His God given authority and spoke away His temptations. When Jesus was tempted of food, He told the devil: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4) The secret to temptations is speaking the word that comes from God – The Bible. This is why Jesus, in all three temptations, quoted the Bible saying: “It is written, it is also written, for it is written.”
“Away from Me, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10)
Jesus using the power of His words to drive away the devil
Hint to Adam: He could have used this power and authority at The Garden as well.
Let us start reading God’s truth so that we can start exercising our God given right of speaking His truth to our circumstances and temptations. So if you are experiencing worries and fears right now, turn to Isaiah 41:10, use your God given authority and say: “I am not afraid, for God is with me; I am not loss for hope, for Jesus is my God. He will strengthen me and He will help me; He will uphold me with His righteous right hand. Amen!”
* Image taken from Deviantart