It is a known, but seldom preached fact that the devil uses Scriptures in his dealings with Christians. He uses them quite often, and apparently, quite efficiently. He tells Christians, “If you are a child of God this, or that, promise applies to you; make it happen.” This is where name it and claim it, decree it and see it, stand on the promises, etc. comes from; from listening to and heeding the very words from the very mouth of Satan. Many well-meaning preachers tell us these same things from the pulpit, not realizing they are practically quoting the devil. People who follow this practice are actually following Satan. To follow Jesus one must adopt His attitude and refuse to put God to the test, for it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’
I’ve heard very few people mention that Satan used Scripture to entice Jesus. Most dwell on the fact that Jesus used Scripture to withstand the devil’s temptations. The devil used promises of God that applied to Jesus, in order to tempt Jesus, trying to entice Him to lift Himself up to the level of God and make those promises come true. Satan, just as he did with Jesus, uses promises that apply to us, in an effort to entice us to lift ourselves up to the level of God and make those promises come true.
So what are we to do? We are to do the same as Jesus did, wait on the Lord our God. Consider the outcome of Jesus’ wilderness experience: Angels came and ministered to Him. And so will God send aid to His children who trust in Him, rest in Him, and wait on Him. He will never fail. He is our loving Father, He loves us and He keeps us and He watches over us and covers us with His wings. We are His portion; we are His chosen. We need only dig deep and find the courage to cast our cares upon the Lord and wait on Him with a trusting heart, and watch as He rewards us for seeking Him. He will most assuredly do it. This is the rest Hebrews speaks of; this is walking in the works that God prepared for us beforehand.
When our son was going crippled with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis the devil kept telling me things like, “Your son is in pain, claim healing for him now and stop his pain. Stand on the promise of healing and make his pain go away now. Don’t let him continue in pain. His pain is constant and it’s very bad.” Thanks be to God, I never once lifted myself up against God and put Him to the test. I trusted Him with all my heart and when the appropriate time came the Holy Spirit led me to say, “In the name of Jesus be healed, be whole, be well.” My son was healed in an instant. Dear ones, our Father will come to our aid, and I will testify from now to eternity that He will never fail us.
Our hearts and our minds must be right; we must simply be in submission to God, under His authority. We must not be supposing or thinking that we have the authority of Christ. This attitude comes from a heart filled with haughtiness and selfishness, and it’s hard to tame; for the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. We must be devoid of our own will and yielding 100% to God’s will. We were bought with a precious price and we no longer belong to ourselves; we belong to God. We must empty ourselves and walk in submission to Him, as did Jesus.
I have seen many things in God’s kingdom; just recently the Lord healed a burn on my granddaughter’s hand; a few months ago my wife’s jaw was out of place. I prayed for her and the Lord put it back in place without so much as a pop. It was out of place at the beginning of my prayer; it was in place at the end of my prayer. This was verified by a dentist.
Several times I’ve stood and watched the elements move in accordance to what God was revealing to me in prayer; the latest was just last spring. We had been waiting on a storm for 10 to 20 minutes; it had been broadcast on TV. A tornado was on the ground headed for our town. Warning sirens went off and as people in our little town were scrambling to shelters, the Lord revealed to me that it would not cross our path. I told my wife we would be OK and I stood outside and watched the tornado lift up from the ground and turn to the west just as it was reaching the outskirts of our town, exactly as the Lord had told me.
I have also seen a dead man come back to life after being dead for about 30 minutes, and he did so after the Lord revealed to me that my prayers for the man would be answered. I’ve seen angels, I’ve seen demons; I’ve heard trees praising God; plants and flowers have spoken to me; birds and frogs and butterflies kept me company and comforted me for approximately two years during a period when friends were nowhere to be found. I could go on and on but this should be enough to make my point.
Am I bragging? Absolutely not! I am saying that God is everything and I am nothing. I am saying that every time I’ve been involved in a working of God, I have walked away with an attitude of humility and tremendous gratefulness that the Lord would allow me to witness His immense love for people. Each time, I have walked into the situation and away from the situation fully aware that nothing was of me, all was of Him. I may have prayed a prayer; I may have spoken a word, but the end of the matter was always, I am nothing, He is all in all; I am just a piece of clay in the Potter’s hand, He is the Potter.
My friends, I know my call. Jesus ordained me with His own hands; He has given me authority; but I would never even consider using that authority on my own. I am only an ambassador of Jesus; I have been sent by Him to help His chosen people by speaking the truth to them. God forbid that I should ever lift myself up as equal to God and demand His promises be given when I want them to be given. I am nothing more than a spokesman for the Son of God. And, as His spokesman, I am obliged to follow His example and work only as the Father works. And each part of His body should do the same.
This is very serious. We must learn to submit to the Lord. We must learn to empty ourselves and walk by the Holy Spirit. Only those who do the will of God will enter the kingdom of heaven, and, all who are being led by the Spirt of God, these are sons of God. All the others will find themselves standing before Jesus saying, “We did this in your name and we did that in your name,” only to hear Him reply, “Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you.” (Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.) We must forsake lawlessness and humble ourselves and learn discipline, and become obedient children of our Father. We must resist Satan and, if we do, he will flee from us.
The Lord bless you,
Rev. Jon Banks
P.S. The devil tries to entice Christians to believe they have a right to the promises of God. This belief is the catalyst to name it and claim it, decree it and see it, and all such haughty tactics.
I believe our Lord’s promises are beautiful and wonderful gifts He shares with us because of His immense love for us. Our God is good and His love is beyond comprehension. We need not claim or decree what we think are our rights. We need only lose ourselves in Him and trust Him for everything. We need only ask and we will receive.
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