How to Defy the Devil – John Piper

How to Defy the Devil – John Piper

Meditate on the word of God day and night. Now, I mean this book — the black one or burgundy or white or red or little or big — whatever version you have. I like the English Standard Version, which has just come out in the last five years. I recommend it, but this is not a conference on Bible translation.

“The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.” There it is. I mean, God said so. “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalm 19:8).

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name” (Jeremiah 15:16). Eat Bible. It’s more important than breakfast. I promise you. Eat Bible.

“His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night,” and therefore, he becomes “like a tree planted by streams of water” (Psalm 1:2–3). When there’s drought, fruit still happens because his roots are down in the word.

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). They’re all life-giving.

“Holiness is a word for somebody who is so happy in God, sin has no appeal anymore.” Tweet Share on Facebook
“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Faith, if it’s going to be sustained, and it has joy — remember all woven into it — faith comes by hearing. That’s not just at conversion. That’s every day of your life. When you get up in the morning, my guess is, unless you’re a very different person from me, you must get faith again. And you get it from the Bible. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word.” So you go to your Bible every morning to have faith set aflame and ignited again.

“Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). And who could say that joy could survive without hope? Therefore, if you’re going to have joy, you got to have hope, and hope, so clearly — Romans 15:4 — comes from the Scriptures.

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“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). Sanctity, holiness. Holiness is a fancy word for somebody who is so happy in God, sin has no appeal anymore. That’s holiness, and that happens by the truth.

“The sword of the Spirit . . . is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). How do you kill the Devil? The Devil is real, and he hates you with a vengeance, and would do anything. He prowls around like a roaring lion, eating Christians. You know what he feeds off of? Faith. The Devil has one appetite: faith. He eats faith so that you can’t have it. He just claws at your faith. That’s the only thing he wants to destroy. He cares not one lick about whether you’re healthy or not. In fact, if he can get your faith by making you healthy, he’ll make you healthy. If he can get your faith by making you sick, he’ll make you sick.

How do you fight the Devil? There is one offensive weapon, and it is the word of God. And when you stick him with it, he flees. You should have short ones and long ones — long swords, short daggers. Those are short verses and long verses. Whole chapters, and little, teeny phrases. And they should all be stored up.

“The Devil has one appetite: faith. He eats faith so that you can’t have it.”
So let me expand on this meditate, by just adding memorize. Oh, memorize the Bible. I’ve never met a weak Christian who memorizes Scripture. I’ve never met a person who is devoted to memorizing Scripture who doesn’t have the warfare wherewithal to fight the fight for joy. Memorize the Scriptures.

We have a memory program at our church called the Fighter Verse Program, and our whole church, that is all of those who are willing to participate, is memorizing the Sermon on the Mount now in a year. It’s going to take a year to memorize three chapters. Memorize the Scripture, so that you can preach to yourself. And I’m getting ahead of myself there because that’s going to be a separate point.

So let me back up, and just say a few more practical things about meditating, memorizing, musing over the Bible. Pick a time of day when it is going to happen. Do not assume, “I’ll put it somewhere.” It won’t happen. Why? The Devil. He’ll just fill your life with so many good things. You know, the Devil is mainly into good things. He’s not mainly into bad things. We can spot bad things and avoid them. We don’t spot the good things that keep us from the best things, so he’s really tricky.

So get yourself a time, and if you say, “I don’t have any,” then just set your alarm a half hour earlier. And pick a place. Don’t leave that open, like, “Oh, where should I go today? What chair should I sit in?” Because there’ll be laundry in that chair, and then the only other chair available is where the kid is playing. And then you can’t concentrate, and he’s got you because you didn’t pick a place.

“I’ve never met a weak Christian who memorizes Scripture.”
And then thirdly, pick a plan. Okay, you open your Bible and “Where should I read today? I don’t know.” And by the time you’ve settled anywhere, he’s got you again. Your mind’s all over the place. So you see these little things sticking out the front of my Bible? That’s my plan. There are four of these, and there are four places where I’m reading in the Bible, because I have a year-through-the-Bible plan that I use, and they use these little doohickeys right here. So, I read in four different places, and I like it that way.

My plan doesn’t have to be your plan, so I read through this book. I’ve read through this book every year, as long as I can remember. Since at least twenty-five years, plus a lot of other meditation and memorizing. So get a place, get a time, get a plan, and then learn how to meditate.

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