“Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons . “-—Id, p. 600.
Therefore, we recommend this daily encounter with God and a working out of a format of listing some of the weak spots in our lives. Then against these weaknesses place one or more “matching Bible promises.” We have endeavoured to prepare our hearts beforehand to meet these ‘common-to-man” temptations. And we have found that when we have humbly and prayerfully, through the help of the Holy Spirit, claimed these in a moment of sudden temptation, there is a completely different response on our part to Satan’s temptations than there is when we have neglected to use the Bible defences. Here are a few of these common human weaknesses with “matching Bible promises”, just to illustrate:
Our lists have, of course, been much longer than the one illustrated above. But these are given with the suggestion that you, the reader, study your own life, asking God to show you your weaknesses, and then, without dwelling long on these weaknesses, search His Word for “matching promises” which promise us Christ likeness and victory. Memorise these “Bible defences” and practice using them even before temptation strikes. This is something like war manoeuvres. Thus the habit will be formed and the defences of the soul be prepared for the onslaughts of Satan’s subtle temptations.
This is in harmony with instruction given by our favourite author, who suggests claiming promises when we are, for instance, the victims of “stinging, fault-finding words.” In preparation for such a possible occasion, we are to: “Let mind and heart be stored with God’s promises.” Then, if you are ill-treated or wrongfully accused instead of returning an angry answer, repeat to yourself the precious promises. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement as the noonday.” Psalms 37:5,6. “There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” Luke 12:2. “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but Thou brought us out into a wealthy place.” Psalms 66:12. — Ministry of Healing
A college teacher, after listening to our study on “matching promises” to offset our weaknesses, was delighted. He exclaimed that never before had this occurred to him in such a striking manner. “Just to think,” he said, “that God has so simplified the solutions to life’s problems is indeed most encouraging. I now have really found something the Holy Spirit can use to change my life.”
A portion of our morning devotions may be used to practice these “war manoeuvres”. By this we mean we can anticipate the approach of temptation and review the matching texts audibly, or in a whisper, or even only in our minds. We can practice “darting” to heaven short promise-filled prayers. Often I ‘dart” a prayer which, so far as words are concerned, is limited to the quoting of a Bible promise. But my soul is ASKING, BELIEVING and CLAIMING. The promise often is, “we shall be like him.” I John 3:2. I find this a powerful weapon of the Holy Spirit in any emergency. At other times I verbalise on the “C” 196 of the A, B, C prayer. It, however, encompasses the whole idea of the A, B, C’s in short.
To illustrate: When I was a boy a visitor once came to our home, and by invitation dined with us at our table. He used a sort of A, B, C request when he smiled and graciously said, ‘I thank you for the butter.” That man had actually asked, believed, and claimed all in the one expression, “I thank you for the butter.” The butter was then passed to him in response to his asking, believing, and claiming it.
Jesus offered this kind of prayer at the grave of Lazarus: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.” John 11:41. So we also may use our A, B, C’s in a variety of ways as we “dart” a promise-filled prayer to heaven. In fact, the biggest part is for faith to actually claim, or receive.
A small eight-year-old lassie tapped me on the shoulder one night. As I turned, I looked into an angel-like face. She spoke softly and with sweetness and poise in a delightfully confident, yet humble, manner: “Your meetings have changed my life.” By contrast in age there was the seventy- three-year-old grandmother whose daughter’s sarcasm nearly drove her to distraction. I heard her personal testimony of a completely changed response as she claimed Isaiah 26:3 : “Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee.”
But, most of all, I know from a very personal experience the change in my own life when I have lighted my taper at the altar of heaven. Now with the song writer I can sing: “I’d rather have Jesus than anything This world affords today.”