SUNDAY January 19, 2020
Resist the Devil
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James spoke to Christians who were struggling with worldliness, carnality and self-seeking. It resulted in serious conflicts in the body of Christ. Believers were fighting, arguing and causing division. How could they overcome these divisive situations? The first thing James instructed them to do was to submit to God. They should place themselves under His authority and obey the Word of God.
Then James taught Christians the importance of resisting the devil. The word resist means “to withstand.” Christians often fail to resist the devil because they give in to their flesh so easily. Then they feel condemned. Believers need “to stand” until the end of the battle and not just quit. Listen, if you have to run like Joseph (Genesis 39:1-16), the run fast!
Learn to stand on the promises of God. The Bible says Satan will flee from you for a season (Luke 4:13). The more you resist and learn to stand against Satan, the stronger the person you will become in the kingdom of God. Resist the devil through the power of the Holy Spirit: …be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).
We can resist the devil by drawing near to God. When we humbly admit our sins to the Lord and let Him know we are guilty, we draw near to God. Satan leaves us and God moves in. He draws near to us and will begin to build us up and comfort us.
“Resisting the devil” does not mean “rebuking” him by shouting at him. It refers to a godly lifestyle of submission to God, a break with the friendship of the world and a spirit of personal humility.
For more from Raul Ries, please visit SomebodyLovesYou.com!