At the beginning of his ministry, after 40 days of fasting in the wilderness, Jesus was challenged by “the tempter,” or devil, who said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:3). Jesus was surely hungry, but of the many responses he could have given, he chose a quote from Scripture, saying, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, and see Deuteronomy 8:3).
The devil continued his challenge to Jesus, suggesting that Jesus jump off a pinnacle of the temple. Again Jesus turned to Scripture in his reply: “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7, and see Deuteronomy 6:16). Three times Jesus uses this phrase—“It is written”—as his defense from and denial of the tempter. This quote from Scripture silenced the tempter and was followed by the recognition of God’s presence, as “angels came and ministered unto him” (Matthew 4:11).
I’ve often relied on the “it is written” concept when praying to overcome challenges to health, peace, supply, and purpose. What’s “written” may be a statement from the Bible, a line from a hymn, or a citation from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I find these inspiring writings turn my thought away from feeling personally responsible and toward God, divine Principle.
Years ago, I was a young Navy jet pilot. On my first night aircraft carrier landing qualifications test, I found my aircraft was low on fuel. On my first four landing attempts I experienced what’s known as a “bolter.” That is when a pilot misses catching the three-inch arresting wire on the deck that stops the plane, and has to attempt the landing again. Feeling stressed, I was tempted to think the worst—that meeting this challenge was beyond my ability, that I would fail, and that not even divine Mind was present to help me.
On the heels of this last worried thought, an angel message from Scripture came to me: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). I was then able to relax, confidently knowing that my capability, knowledge, and intelligence are entirely derived from God. I realized that the kingdom of God is within (see Luke 17:21). I knew that divine Principle was giving me the provision needed to land that plane. Divine law, which I manifested, included proficiency, focus, and poise.
With that, I touched down on the deck and my jet successfully caught the target wire. I went on to complete six more landings without a problem, and achieved my carrier flight qualification.
Remembering “it is written” has been such a blessing to me. Again and again I have used the Scriptures to pivot from personal sense to Principle, and let divine Truth destroy whatever challenge to Truth’s power I face.