JOURNEY TO FREEDOM
UNIT IV Key 3 SCRIPTURE
SCRIPTURE PRINCIPLE: Thy word I have treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Psalm 119:11
No words have ever been spoken or written that have the power that God’s Word has. The Word plants and grows faith. It shows us our sins and shows us God’s mercy. It moves us to forgive the ones who wronged us. It assures us that we can safely confront our self-will and surrender to the will of God. It exposes the lies of the enemy of our souls and shines the light of truth to us.
The Bible tells us that the Word is God, Jesus is the Word made flesh, the World was made through Him, He is the light and life of the World, and He fills us with His Grace (John 1:1-16). No wonder the Word is powerful.
How often have you drawn the sword of the Word and used it against temptation? The Scripture we have memorized is a sword in our hand if we will use it. It cuts off the temptation and strikes deeply into the lies that drive our unique weaknesses. With practice, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes, we can get to a point where quoting a verse against temptation becomes a reflex and is our first reaction when a temptation is presented to the mind.
The enemy of our souls will do all that he can to prevent us from memorizing. He knows that once a verse is in our minds, the Holy Spirit can bring it to conscious remembrance at the moment of need. Often he will tempt us by offering compromises, suggesting that we can have our sins and Jesus too. We fear giving up control over our lives.
By now, you are likely very aware of your weakest points, the ones where it seems you have not been able to win. Your best approach is to develop a special plan to deal with it, memorize verses in advance before the temptation is presented to you again, and identify the lies that have been driving it. What many have found, however, is that once they are well-armed against a specific temptation, it seldom comes to them again. The devil does not like to lose.
We live in a culture of lies, and being a truth-seeker and truth-teller in a culture of lies will cause conflict with people who prefer to defend their sins with lies. Our culture supports any junk science, re-written history, or empty philosophies that protect the human will to rebel against God’s will. Our culture tells us that “if it feels good, do it, it is okay as long as no one gets hurt, everyone is doing it and it seems to be turning out all right for them, one more time won’t hurt, it will provide a quick fix to solve an immediate problem”, and the list goes on.
In II Chronicles 18, we find a king who thought he could make compromises with God’s Word. In the previous chapter, we find that he was a God-fearing man, but he thought he could make an alliance with a pagan king. However, when the pagan king asked Jehoshaphat to join him in a war against an enemy, he wanted the pagan King Ahab to consult the Word of the Lord before they committed themselves. King Ahab immediately assembled 400 false prophets, who assured the two kings that if they went to war, victory will be theirs.
God-fearing King Jehoshaphat knew enough of God’s Word to be suspicious, so he questioned the claims of these prophets. He thought they were false prophets who only pretended to speak from God, who put on a show to impress King Ahab, and who told him only what he wanted to hear. He insisted on hearing from a real prophet.
King Ahab knew exactly what King Jehoshaphat was saying, but he did not want to hear from a real prophet. King Jehoshaphat insisted on consulting the Lord’s prophet, and a messenger was sent to fetch Micaiah. Even the messenger tried to persuade Micaiah to tell King Ahab what he wanted to hear.
So he was brought before the two kings, and obviously dripping with sarcasm, he told King Ahab that he will indeed win a victory. King Ahab, beginning to question his own judgment, demanded the truth. Micaiah told him that God was allowing him to be demonically influenced to go to war so that God could destroy him.
In spite of this dire warning, King Jehoshaphat agreed to join King Ahab in this unholy alliance. King Ahab tried to get King Jehoshaphat to be the target instead of him, but God protected His godly king, and Ahab was the one who died. He was wrong to ally himself with the pagan king, but his only punishment was a scolding from a prophet in his own country (II Chronicles 19:1-3).
In chapter 20, King Jehoshaphat was threatened with annihilation by enemies. This time he consulted only with the Lord. He proclaimed a fast and called on his country for national prayer. In spite of the hopelessness of the situation, he fixed his eyes on the Lord. He led his army out to the battlefield, singing praises to the Lord as they went. By the time they arrived, nothing was left of their enemies except a field of corpses.
Compromises put us in danger. When we pray, fast, consult God’s will, put our trust in Him, purge our lives of idolatry, and give Him praise, we are in a position to turn our battles over to Him.
SCRIPTURE: Write what each of these verses of passages mean to you and your situation.
STUDY GUIDE (Feel free to write on the backside or use additional paper if necessary.)
1. On a scale of 1-10, how much memorizing have you done (1 is lowest, 10 is highest)?
2. On a scale of 1-10, how quickly do you use memorized Scripture against temptation?
3. What are your strongest temptations these days? Please include sins of deeds, words, thoughts, attitudes, sexual and other fantasies, hidden motivations, secret agendas, pride, self-will, and lies that you still believe.
4. Please list the specific verses that you use to fight these temptations.
5. In what ways have you applied Hebrews 2:17-18 and 4:15-16 to your struggles against temptations, particularly ssa/ma/tx?
6. In what ways have you experienced God’s comfort (II Corinthians 1:3-5)?
7. In what ways did King Jehoshaphat walk with the Lord? Please see II Chronicles 17:4,
6, & 9, and 18:6-7.
8. One can walk with the Lord for a long time and still be deceived into an unholy compromise. If an unholy compromise gets you into trouble, is it ever too late to call on the Lord for help (II Chronicles 18:28-32)?
9. In II Chronicles 20, a huge army assembles against Jehoshaphat. What does he do in response?
10. Have you ever been confronted with a very difficult situation, and followed the same order of operations as King Jehoshaphat? If so, please share.
11. On a scale of 1-10, how victorious have you had lately? Please explain your answer.
12. Did you use any memorized Scripture to battle temptation lately? What was the result?
13. How is your spiritual life in general, how are your private devotions, and how are things going at your church/fellowship group?
Plan of Action: (You might want to read II Chronicles 17-20, and develop a plan of action to avoid the mistakes that both kings made, and to practice what King Jehoshaphat did right.)