Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
I love the Word of God.
Recently, with a friend, I wrote two books of prayers based on all 150 Psalms. We lingered for more than three years in that work, constantly feasting on, meditating in, considering, weighing, and praying the Word of God. I was changed through the holy labor of love.
I have faced, at various points on my own journey, challenges related to anxiety and depression. The Word of God stabilized me and, energized by the Spirit, kept me from checking out and checking in to an institution. I know that you may resonate with the same sentiment: the Word of God is a Word of Truth, not only in a world of lies, but also when a mind is losing perspective.
The Word of God, given power to work in us by the Spirit of God, enables us to face down the demonic schemes assigned to us by quickening the spirit to embrace God’s life rather than relying on our own strength.
We read, sing, or pray the Word of God, and our spirits rise to what is true, what is right, what is pure, what is lovely—and we think on those things (Phil. 4:8).
We may never understand all that the Holy Spirit does. What we can know is this: we can trust in, delight in, enjoy and savor, the written Word of God. It has been a bridge to communion with Jesus, the Living Word of God, time and time and time again. It will continue to be for the rest of our lives. There is no hell you or I face that cannot be answered by a promise from the Word of God.
Lord of the Wild, you answered the enemy with truth—having a command of the Scriptures that you learned through growing up as one of us. Teach us to rehearse your promises daily, and to delight in memorizing your precepts, hiding them in our hearts. In Jesus’s name, amen.
What promise or passage from the Word of God has most strengthened you in your seasons of battle? What is it about that passage that moves you?
For the Awakening,
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Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12)
When I open the Bible and open my heart while I read it, my inner ears open up and begin to hear what the Spirit is saying to me today. Ancient words from God span the millennia and tune my spirit to God’s contemporary voice speaking within me, releasing rivers of living water and restoring my soul.
Thank you, Dan Wilt.