I’m sure we are all familiar with the passages in the Bible where Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness. Many devotions, lessons, messages, and songs have been created from the many critical points within the story. But it wasn’t until a recent reading that I noticed one of Satan’s most potent weapons hidden there in plain sight. Such a small thing. So easy to overlook. And even easier to fall for.
Did you see it? That little word “if,” the keyword for Satan’s tool of doubt. “If thou be the Son of God, change these stones to bread.” “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down.” “You can have all of this if you’ll bow down to me.” With that seemingly insignificant two-letter word, Satan questioned both the identity and character of Jesus and strove to get Jesus to do the same. And he assaults us the same way on a regular basis.
If God really loved you, He wouldn’t allow this to be happening in your life.
If you’re really saved, you wouldn’t be depressed, so you must not have gotten the real thing.
If God were on your side, you wouldn’t feel so alone in this world.
If God really watched out for you, He would have kept your family together.
If your husband loved you, he wouldn’t work such long hours.
If your wife loved you, she would want to stay home instead of working a job.
You can have everything you want in life if you’re willing to break a few rules.
If you follow me, I’ll show you what you’ve been missing by being a goodie two shoes.
All your problems will float away if you take this new drug.
See what I mean? And for every “if” statement I listed, there are hundreds more. Whatever your situation or mood, the enemy has an “if” for you. Here’s the tricky part. During that heated moment or discouraging situation, those “if” statements make sense. They seem logical and right. But they’re not. They result from the father of lies playing to our emotions and trying to get us to turn our backs on God. If he can make us doubt who we are in Christ, how much God loves us, and the other promises of Scripture, he’s well on his way to defeating us.
That’s why it’s imperative we fight these attacks the same way Jesus did—with the TRUTH. For each of the enemy’s “if” statements, Jesus quoted a Scripture back to Satan. Not just any verse, but one that addressed Satan’s claims. Jesus fought with the Word of God, and we should too. When the enemy gives us an “if,” let’s fight back with the truth of God’s Word. Find a verse or a few verses that relate to your situation, and when Satan comes hissing with all those “ifs,” give him an earful of truth. If you don’t know where to begin or can’t find a Bible verse to help you, ask your pastor or spiritual mentor. I’m sure they would be happy to help you. Or you can contact me, and I’ll help you find one. I know I’ve searched the Scripture often enough for my own weapons, and I’m always amazed at what God shows me.
Don’t fall for the enemy’s “ifs.” It’s a trick, a tactic, but never the truth. Be strong, and don’t fall for the attack. But when it comes (and the attacks will come), be armed with the Word of God. Satan has no defense against that, and he will have no choice but to flee. Before I close, though, I feel I better say this—Don’t expect to win the battle with Scripture if you don’t believe what you’re quoting. It’s not about letting words fly. It’s about claiming the truth and applying it to your life where you are. So, I urge you, get in that Bible. Find those weapons and believe them with all your heart.