How to Shut Satan’s Mouth
The story of the temptation of Jesus is probably our greatest Scriptural example of how to deal with the devil. It is a graphic portrayal of true spiritual warfare. Let’s look at the account in Matthew chapter 4, and then I’ll share with you just a few of the insights I’ve gleaned from this amazing account…
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (vv. 1-11).
I like the phrase in verse 11 that says, “Then the devil left him.” It’s always a happy day when the devil leaves! But I do want you to notice that he doesn’t leave Jesus immediately. I think that’s worth taking note of. Satan is persistent.
Jesus rebuffs Satan with the Word during their first encounter, but Satan doesn’t take off. He sticks around. Second clash? The devil doesn’t take off. He sticks around again. It takes three times! And, friend, if the Son of God didn’t drive off the devil after the first encounter, I think we need to learn to stand our ground, as well.
The good news is you can shut Satan’s mouth during every encounter if you will do what Jesus did. In every encounter, Jesus said, “It is written…” and He quoted the Scripture. It’s important that we learn to do that. But how?
Ephesians chapter 6 talks about spiritual armor that you and I can put on every day to “stand against the wiles of the devil” (v. 11). The apostle Paul says in Ephesians 6:17, “Take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Now, there are two different Greek words used for the English word word in the New Testament. One is logos, and that refers to God’s written word, or the Bible.
But then there is another word, rhema, and that means when the written word of God is spoken. It’s only “rhema” when it comes out of your mouth. Ephesians 6:17 says, “Take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] of God,” or the spoken word of God. It only acts as a sword and becomes a weapon when we put it in our mouth. And that’s what Jesus did. When the devil came, Jesus stuck him with the Word. That’s why he eventually left.
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus is depicted at least four times as having a sharp two-edged sword coming out of His mouth. It says that He won His victories with the sword of His mouth. And, friend, you are going to win your victories by putting the sword in your mouth. We can’t expect to have victory any other way!
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