“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “
“It is also written:’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “
“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ “
Matthew 4:4, 7, 10 NIV
Three times, Jesus told Satan who was trying to entice Him by engaging Him in nonsensical conversation and behavior. Tempting him to be a magician–“turn these stones into bread.” Tempting Him to destroy himself to prove himself–“throw yourself down” from the highest point of the temple. Tempting Him by offering what was not his to give--“All this I will give you if you bow down and worship me.” Satan was offering Jesus that which was already His.
And because Jesus knew who He was–confident in His role determined by the Father, He didn’t argue with Satan; He simply said, “it is written.”
Now, there was an assumption here on the part of Jesus and that was–Satan’s ability to read with understanding. Most educators know that not everyone who claims to know how to read, actually read with understanding. Some people are simply word-callers–they recognize and can sound out the words, but they do not understand the relationship between words in order to comprehend the context of what is being said.
The most tragic part of assessing a person’s ability to understand what is written is to determine that though many adults claim to read, they lack comprehension skills. And this is why–many are combative, angry, and irritable–they lack understanding and if we lack understanding, our confidence level sinks.
In order to know how to effectively avoid engagement with those who would attempt to deter us from destined path, we need to know what God says about us and the only we can know that is to get into His Word and seek Him for understanding. Then, when the enemy comes to tempt us, we can say, “It is written” for we have read what was written and understand it.
Having read instructions, directions, and even for entertainment, we can build our confidence in the knowledge that we comprehend and this strategy is useful in all walks of life. This is why having a paper trail–written communication–in business engagement is crucial. People forget, but if they attempt to say they were not informed and it was written, they have no argument.
So, let us endeavor to negate argumentative situations–no matter who instigates them by countering with, “It is written” and leaving it alone.