“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
Upon the lonely, desolate, forsaken terrain of a wilderness into which few would venture, the Son of Almighty God was fasting and preparing for what was ahead of him. No two-week executive vacation for this Prince of Peace, but a forty day excursion into all that is ugly and detestable in our world. Never One to pass the buck, Jesus met every challenge and problem head on . . . including our greatest enemy, Satan.
If you think about it, of course Satan would be hanging out in such a forlorn place as this. In the distance he glimpses the Lord of Creation and marvels at the opportunity that has just presented itself. Four days without food is a long time (if you don’t believe me, try it!); Jesus went forty! Doesn’t your stomach growl sympathetically at the thought! Satan seized his sinister opportunity.
“If you are the ‘Son of God’ you can do whatever you want, right? I’ve been watching you go without food all these days. Surely you’re hungry. If you are the ‘Son of God’, command these stones to turn to bread and eat! Did you come here to die (little did Satan know!)? Eat some bread and live!” Satan spoke his native language as he tirelessly tempted Jesus.
Jesus’ response was simple, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
On the lips of Jesus Christ were the Words of His Holy Father! Words against which Satan could not stand. Words that caused the Great Liar to crumble. Words that forced the devil to turn tail and run. Words given to you and me as an offensive weapon against the very same attacks leveled against us by the very same enemy.
The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God! This Word is freely given to us and recorded in the pages of sacred Scripture – use them! Employ them against your enemy and see what happens! Memorize them and wield them whenever Satan’s horrific ambush ensues. Study your weapon. Know it inside and out. Defend yourself with it. Attack Satan with it. The Word of God will never fail you. Your weapon is sure and steady. You are fully equipped for every skirmish Satan orchestrates.
You are fully armored by God. Therefore, stand in these evil days! There is nothing that will ever overpower you.
“Lift hight the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
Till all the world adore His sacred name.
Come, Christians, follow where our Captain trod,
Our king victorious, Christ, the Son of God.”
Lift High the Cross, Lutheran Service Book, 837