The spiritual warfare for Christians grows hotter each day and we need every weapon available to us to defeat the enemy; from prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit to the armor in Ephesians 6. But often overlooked is the wisdom the Lord used and gives to His people. In many encounters Jesus had with the scribes and Pharisees (the Lord’s enemies whose immediate objective was to trap Him), He answered their questions or charges with such wisdom that they could not gainsay nor resist Him.
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery to Jesus and demanded of Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act…Now Moses commanded us that such should be stoned: but what do you say? and Jesus, answering with wisdom His enemies could not withstand said, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. Jesus, obviously, never denied the command of Moses against committing adultery nor the fact she was guilty, yet His adversaries could not answer Him but instead were last seen slinking away from the scrutiny of Jesus (John 8:2-11).
The following passage not only vividly illustrates this point but also gives a glimpse of the almost comical scene where the scribes and Pharisees enter an imaginary debate with Jesus looking for a way to respond to Him. And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and say unto him, “By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority to do these things?” And Jesus answered and said unto them, “I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men? Answer me.” And they reasoned with themselves, “If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed”. And they answered and said unto Jesus, “We cannot tell.” And Jesus answering saith unto them, “Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things” (Mark 11:27-33). Again the religious authorities proved themselves to be losers against Jesus’ wisdom!
There are other examples given in the Gospels of His religious enemies trying to entrap Him and as always, Jesus’ answers left them with no more they could say but these are given as illustrations. However, the good news for believers is that Jesus did not keep this wisdom to Himself! Before leaving His disciples, Jesus relates to them in the Olivet Discourse that they, too, will be facing enemies in the public arena and He will give them that same wisdom.
But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prison, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate before what ye shall answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist (Luke 21:12-15).
This special kind of wisdom is seen in the life of Stephen in Acts 6:9-10 just before he was stoned. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
What is all this saying to believers today? Anyone who is speaking out with boldness for the Lord; in the public arena; i.e., classrooms, speeches, forums, radio & TV talk shows, letters to the editors, interviews by the media, etc. and even in private one to one conversations; whatever the arena, the Lord is still giving His people wisdom the enemy cannot withstand or contradict, particularly, to those who pray and ask for it.
One story told today is that of a college student whose very liberal professor was trying to destroy the credibility of the Bible by saying the Children of Israel did not come through the Red Sea as the Bible says but the Reed Sea which he claimed is only six inches deep. A Christian student wildly waved his raised hand and when acknowledged exclaimed that was even a greater miracle that the whole Egyptian army was drowned in only six inches of water! (Need more be said?)
There, too, is a response, which falls into this category for humanists who say there are no absolutes; that being, “Are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?”
In the early 1980’s the Lord called this author to a public ministry of exposing humanism as to what it is and how it has infiltrated our schools, government, businesses and even churches. Because of this ministry, many times I found myself in situations where I was facing adversaries who were in the natural much bigger than I, either in education, experience, influence, natural power, etc. My prayer before entering either a private or public conflict with the adversary has been for wisdom the enemy could not withstand or contradict and the Lord has never let me down! (This prayer should also be prayed for Christians being interviewed on live broadcasts.)
Another prayer/confession which will build faith before entering an arena of conflict, that allows using the sword of the Spirit on any demonic forces preparing to challenge, is the quote from David when he faced Goliath. You come to me with the sword and with a spear, and with a shield: (fleshly weapons) but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts…This day will the LORD deliver you into mine hand…and all this assembly shall know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear: (weapons of the flesh) for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into my [our] hand(s) (I Samuel 17:45b, 46a, 47).
Christian readers should not only pray for this wisdom to defeat the LORD’s and their adversaries, but for the graciousness to answer their opponents that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the truth and may escape from the snare of the devil having been captured by him to do his will (2 Tim. 2:25, 26). Know, too, Christians today can be like David, with no weapons of the flesh being strong enough to defeat them when they go in the Name, Power and Wisdom of our Lord, Jesus Christ!