In the previous post, we looked at how, when Jesus was in the wilderness and being tempted by the devil for forty days, He was sustained by the Word of God.

And the devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'”

Luke 4:3-4 NKJV

In this post, I want to delve a little further into the sustaining power of the Word of God to find out how it can sustain us when we are in our own wilderness and facing temptations.

To begin, let’s go to the Greek word Jesus used for “word” in His response to Satan: rhema (Strong’s Greek 4487).

Rhema is used in reference to a singular word, a speech, the Gospel and a command. Strong specifically says about rhema that it does not necessarily refer to the whole Word of God, but rather to an “individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need, a prerequisite being the regular storing of the mind with Scripture” (Strong 2010, p. 221).

This can clearly be seen in Jesus’ response to Satan, where He begins His response and rebuking of Satan by saying “It is written”. Jesus knew the Scriptures and the Law (all part of the Word of God) and drew from that knowledge with the help of Holy Spirit (because remember, it was the Spirit who led Jesus into the wilderness – see Luke 4:1) to help Him in His time of need.

Psalm 119 tells of the greatness of the Word or Law of God, depending on which Bible version you read. I quickly skimmed it before writing this post and came across this fitting passage:

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me.

psalm 119:97-98 nkjv

I’m not sure whether the psalmist is referring to God’s Word being forever with him or his enemies being forever with him, but either way, God’s Word is there. In fact, it has always been there:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

john 1:1-5 nkjv

NB: My Bible has a footnote that says in the last verse, comprehend can also be replaced with overcome.

This is such a profound passage with so much depth and meaning to it. It’s a passage I absolutely love. While it says such profound things about God and about the Word, it also says a very simple thing: the Word is God.

So whenever we speak the Word into a situation, whether it be a temptation we are facing in our wilderness or something else; when we speak the rhema Word that Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance, we are speaking God – His life and His light – into that situation.

And the devil cannot help but to flee, because the darkness does not overcome the light.

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