The temptations Satan brings against us follow a pattern. First, he tempts us to doubt what God has said—that our sins have been forgiven, that God really loves us, that we have been accepted into God’s family as His children, that we have been released from the curse, and that we have entered into the blessing. But the final thrust of Satan’s tactics is to tempt us to direct disobedience.
Jesus used only one weapon to defeat Satan: the rhema, or the spoken Word of God. He countered each temptation with the same phrase: “It is written.” (See, for example, Matthew 4:4, 7, 10.) Each was a direct quotation from the Old Testament. Satan has no defense against the Word of God thus quoted directly at him. He has no choice but to withdraw in defeat.
In all of this, Jesus is our perfect example. He did not rely on any wisdom or arguments of His own; rather, He used precisely the same weapon God has given to us: the Word of God. Our security depends on following the example of Jesus. Satan is a thousand times wiser and stronger than we are. He can point to a thousand flaws in our own righteousness. But there is one weapon against which he has no defense: the Word of God, spoken in faith.
Such, then, is the path that leads us out of the territory overshadowed by curses and into the territory that enjoys the sunlight of God’s blessings. Its first requirement is unswerving faith, based on the exchange that took place on the cross. Faith of this kind reckons God’s promises as effective from the moment they are apprehended. By prompt, unquestioning obedience and patient endurance, we move from our legal rights in Christ into the full, experiential enjoyment of them. We meet all satanic opposition with “the sword of the Spirit”: the spoken Word of God. (See Ephesians 6:17.)