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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

What Doesn't Scare the Devil

I was on my way to prayer this past Sunday, and as I rambled down the street in my little black Ford Ranger, thinking about my life and my spiritual walk, I had a revelation. As I write this, it occurs to me that it seems sort of strange I would get a revelation on my way to prayer. I thought I was supposed to get revelations while I was in prayer, but hey, He's God and He can do what He wants, right?

I have become increasingly dissatisfied with what I see as a lack of effectiveness in my Christian walk. I want so much to have an impact on this world for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so when I die, I will leave behind me a trail of people whose lives have been enriched as a result of God working through me. And it was there, in the comfort of my vinyl bench seat, while listening to some quiet worship music, the Lord started to reveal to me the solution to my problem. And just like the Lord, He made it very clear to me. He said, "You know, words don't scare the devil. The devil isn't even afraid of My Word. It's when words translate into action and change a life that he becomes afraid."

At first, I was taken aback. "What do You mean, Lord, that the devil isn't afraid of Your Word?" Then He reminded me of one particular instance in the Scriptures where Satan actually quoted the Scripture quite casually. The most famous instance would have to be when Satan was tempting Jesus to throw Himself from the highest point of the temple.

He reminded Jesus that it is written,

... "'He will command his angels concerning you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" (Matthew 4:6 ESV)

(Not that Jesus needed any reminding!) There are many other Scriptures that support this as well. Psalm 119, a beautiful piece of literary genius, is chock-full of praise and adoration for the commands, precepts, and statutes of the Lord.

But David doesn't stop short of relating to his readers the effect that the Word has on his life. The Word turns our eyes from worthless things (Psalm 119:37); it gives us an answer for those who reproach us (Psalm 119:42); it restrains our feet from every evil path (Psalm 119:101); it causes us to detest falsity (Psalm 119:104); it keeps us straight in the midst of persecution (Psalm 119:157) — just to name a few.

God's message to Israel through Joshua was this:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8 ESV)

Furthermore, Jesus said,

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15 ESV)

In this hour, God is renewing His call to the church for purity and passion. If we are going to be the pure and spotless bride He desires, we must let the Word take its course in our lives. It is not good enough to sit in church, sing the right songs, memorize Scripture, wear the right clothes, and know all the Holy Spirit catch-phrases if we are going to turn right around and live our lives as if God doesn't exist.

There is a process to interacting with the Word. First, we must receive it. That is done through our spirits. Secondly, we must reflect on it. That takes place in the mind. Finally, we must respond to it. That takes place in the flesh -- with our bodies. If we never get up and GO (as we've been commanded), we have embraced a form of godliness but have denied its power.

Revelation 12:11 ESV says,

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

The blood portion has already been taken care of by Jesus on the Cross. The testimony is up to us. And the testimony isn't just a 15-minute speech someone gives on Sunday morning about how God delivered them from drugs and alcohol. Your testimony is your changed life. It’s the evidence of a life that has allowed the Word to do its work to the point that you and I will not shrink from even death itself.

Remember: the devil isn't scared by all the Scriptures you've memorized. A life of mere words will soon be forgotten. But if today you will embrace a spirit of get-up-and-go, you can impact this world in a way that will continue to reverberate for generations to come. People may be reading books about you when you've turned to dust. But most important of all, you can be sure that your name will be written in the one book that matters most: The Lamb's Book of Life.

Copyright © Paul Dailey. Used with permission.

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