Second Hand Word
16 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:16-17 NKJ
Have you ever wondered why the devil targeted Eve for his deception in the Garden of Eden, and not Adam? Some claim that it had something to do with her womanhood, but I don’t think so. The truth is that Satan’s initiative against Eve had very little to with her gender but had everything to do with her getting the Word second hand. In the above verse we see that God spoke to Adam regarding the tree of knowledge before Eve was created. It is in the next verse that God decides to create Eve. Then in the third chapter of Genesis, when Satan comes to deceive Eve, she was standing on what she had heard from Adam. Whereas Adam had the Word directly from God Himself, Eve had a second-hand Word which made her susceptible, because the Word she had was not really hers. She was living off the Word she had received from her husband.
It is one of the greatest weaknesses in the Body of Christ today. We are trying to live off of a word that someone else has but that we have never made our own. The problem is that you cannot live off someone else’s revelation! It has to come alive inside you. If your spouse or parents teach you principles from the Word but you never really make them your own, you will be susceptible to be deceived by the enemy just as Eve was. Sure, you may accept it as truth, but to stand against the attacks of the enemy in your life the Word has to be deeper in you, than mere acceptance. You have to believe it! You have to have embraced it. It must be invested in your soul.
Because we live in a fallen world the enemy is going to attack us. But we are overcomers through Christ Jesus according to 1 John 5:4. That means that we are overcomers through the Word! When hard times come into our life we have to know and believe the Word ourselves so we can make a victorious stand. When the enemy attacks you are in trouble if all you can say is, “Well I heard the Word says…” You must know what you believe not what you heard someone else says.
If you have ever been frustrated because it did not appear the Word was working in your life, rather than questioning the power of the Word consider whether it is lodged in your soul. Be certain that you are not trying to live off someone else’s revelation. Here is an example of this from Acts 19:15, where Jewish exorcists attempted to live off Paul’s faith in the Word (Jesus), and drive out demons. Some Jewish men started going around trying to force out evil spirits by using the name of the Lord Jesus. They said to the spirits, “Come out in the name of that same Jesus that Paul preaches about!” Their words exposed them. They stood on the, “…same Jesus that Paul preaches about!” The calamitous result of trying to live off of someone else’s revelation was that the demon turned on them saying, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” The demon then overpowered the men because like Eve they attempted to stand on a second-hand Word of God. You will be known by the Word (Jesus) that is in you.
How about you? Are you standing on what others have told you about the Word of God, or are you standing on the Word as a first-hand promise from God to you? The good news is that we have something Eve did not. We have the Word of God in our hands, which is God’s first-hand Word for you. You can ride to victory in your situation but it must be the Word that is in you!
J Todd Hostetler