One word can change everything. In 1631 an English Bible printer forgot the “not” in one of the Ten Commandments. His version of Exodus 20:14 read: “Thou shalt commit adultery.” This edition became known as The Wicked Bible, and the printer had to pay a large fine, £300.00. King Charles I commanded that all the copies of this Bible should be destroyed.

The devil knows the importance of words. He knew exactly what he was saying when he spoke to Christ in the wilderness, “If thou be the Son of God . . . .” Satan directly challenged Christ’s deity by asking Him to prove it with a miracle. He tries to get people to do the same thing today. He whispers the word “if” in the middle of their most trying times so that they will doubt God’s power or character: “If God really loved you, then He would have given you a promotion instead of your lazy co-worker.” “If God is really faithful, then He would have given you a mate by now.” “If God really cared about you, then He would have helped you sell your house sooner.” “If God was really your Protector, then He would have kept you from being hurt by your closest friend or family member.” “If, if, if, if, if. . . .”

The word “if” can take our faith if we’re not careful. We can keep this from happening when we respond with Scripture as Jesus did. The Word of God has positive truth to counter every negative statement from the devil. We don’t have to outsmart the devil; the Bible tells us to resist him, and he will flee from us.

Maybe you have been wrestling with doubt. You know God’s there, but you just can’t understand what He’s doing in your life. Don’t let Satan’s “ifs” take your faith. Rest in the certain promises of God’s Word, and your enemy will flee.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder