Friday, April 10, 2009

Resisting: A "Three-Part Instruction List"

I think it was just a couple weeks ago (perhaps not even that length of time) that I "happened" across a certain three verses....And, as some of you also may have experienced, it was like God made the words "pop out" at me. During that time, I found an entirely new....and amazing....perspective on resisting Satan.
James 4.
Read it.
In fact, read the whole book.
You'll be amazed!

To begin with, I must state the, I hope, obvious fact that Satan is very, very real. He is "alive" so to speak....and he hates,with a stronger vehemence than we can probably imagine, true children of Jesus...especially those who obey and love Him and are willing to even die for Him. But then, although we must remember that Satan is real, we must also remember that Jesus is even more powerful than Satan. Satan may win a few victories, but his ultimate end is already determined. Jesus has already conquered him. "Jesus is Victor" as Corrie ten Boom said. And He is. He Is.

We can't expect to just stand up when we're tempted by the devil and say "Go away!" It won't work. First, we must submit to God. Release our desires, our will, our very lives, into Jesus' hands. There's no safer place anyway!! Submit to whatever God wills. Whatever God wills. And leave it in His hands. Trust Him.
Now we can resist Satan in the name of Jesus. But remember Jesus. Without Jesus, you can just forget about conquering Satan. (For to be without Jesus is to be with Satan. There is no "straddling the fence" in this area.) But with Jesus...."All things are possible." And Christ promises that when we have submitted to Jesus and are in Him, and then resist the devil, that "he [Satan] will flee from you." (James 4:7b)
But you can't stop there.
If you do, you'll be worse off than the parable of the man who was possessed by a demon. The demon, for one reason or another, left the man for a period of time. The aforesaid man then swept and cleaned his house, and put it in order. Then, the demon came back, this time with a passel of his "friends" and they entered the man and the state of that man was many times worse then when there had only been one demon.
We can't just "clean" our house of the devil....He'll come back. You must not take one thing out and leave your "house" empty. You must "draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8) As the familiar hymn reads, "Let Jesus come into your heart." Again, "draw near." Give your whole heart, your everything, to Christ. And He'll keep it for you. Only remember to not try and "snatch" it away from Him and take it back for yourself. If you give your heart, your life, to Jesus, you'll never ever regret it; that is a promise that is sure. For it isn't my promise. It's God's. (Read the Bible, and you'll see for yourself! Of course, you should do that anyhow, more than any "Theological" book on any shelf. The Bible should be your final authority.)

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.....
James 4:7-8a; NKJV)

In Christ Alone,

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