I figured something out… and it’s going to serve me well. Its how to shut the devil up with just two words… Two little words that will send him packing. This all got started when I heard a sermon the other day and the preacher was telling the account from Matthew’s gospel of Jesus being tempted by the devil. Old Slewfoot is not very creative. He doesn’t have to be. He has a system that works pretty well. Its called ‘doubt’ and it is the polar opposite of faith. He uses the same tactic every time. Ever since Eden… Doubt challenges God. Faith pleases Him.
When Satan tempted the Lord in the wilderness, he used doubt as his weapon. You can readily see him, leading with a left jab and saying “If…” That’ll get your attention, every time. Like a punch in the nose! “If you are truly God’s Son…” It sounds much like; “If God is so good, why is there evil in the world?” “If God loved me I wouldn’t be in this financial mess.” “If God cared, He would answer my prayer.” IF… IF… IF. Get the doubt ball rolling.
Jesus was tired, hungry and thirsty. Forty days of fasting will do that to you. The enemy came when Jesus was most vulnerable. He does know his stuff. He’ll come sniffing around your door when you are at a weak spot too.
Remember the Old Testament tale of the three Hebrew lads who were thrown into the king’s furnace? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were tempted to go along with the crowd and bow to an idol. After all, their God had allowed an enemy nation to conquer their own, and to lead them into slavery in a foreign land. Room there for some doubt, I’d say. But if there is room for doubt, then there is also room for faith. And faith is expressed in those two words that will send the enemy into a tailspin. “Even if.” Just two words. “Even if my mortgage is due, I will trust God.” “Even if the doctor’s report is bad, I will praise Him.” “Even if I am lonely, I will call on HIm.” The devil says “If,” but we answer “even if.” Bingo. We win. Fear knocked but Faith answered the door.