|Notice the Cross?|
The devil got you down? I don’t know about you, but my enemy comes daily to see if he can trip me up in one way or another. It can be exhausting when he hits on a weak or tender spot where I have not gain the upper hand yet. So…when I read the following scripture in James, hope arises. God’s order brings focus on how to handle the schemes of my adversary.
Submit yourselves, then, to God.
Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.
The scripture has a three-step process. Submitting ourselves to God comes first. In this scripture, ‘submit’ means to voluntarily subdue yourself under your commander and cooperate with his instructions.
Why does retreating into God’s Presence come first?
Let me suggest why it is a wise beginning.
First, we can anchor our soul in Him and make sure we have our armor in place.
Next, God can give us wisdom on scripture to claim and which angle to attack. He knows our maturity level and he adjusts the plan of action accordingly. When we head out to conqueror, we can be united with His strength and focus.
Thirdly, we can ask the Lord if there are any breaches in our wall of protection. This means checking up on your thought life and any questionable attitudes or lack of forgiveness. By searching ourselves for these infractions, we can sure up our boundaries where the enemy has legally come in and plundered.
The devil will first try to commandeer our thoughts by inserting his lies until he gets us to believe his leadings. When he has our way of thinking captured, he can subvert our will. After our thoughts and will are captured, then our devotion will fall sooner or later as well. So look for thought processes that are lies and do not line up with the Word.
Last, look for questionable attitudes, unjust judgments towards others or any unforgiveness. Sometimes, our attitudes are apparent so in essences we are choosing to believe a lie. However, other times we are unaware and need to pray for insight.
When breaches are wiped out, then we can proceed confidently. Remember… your adversary is very skillful so he can be hard to detect. Cowering will only encourage your enemy to persevere and press farther into your life.
What does it mean to resist the devil? In this scripture, it means to establish, to withstand, to oppose, and to resist. When we have come from the Presence of God with a plan, then we need to be consistent in carrying out that plan no matter what. It will involve establishing what you believe, speaking it forth and then sticking to your convictions no matter what thoughts, feelings or circumstances come your way. And if you fall down, get back up. It is never to late to gain a victory. Why? With God and His grace at your side, all things are possible.
When will the Devil flee? The devil‘s goal is to get you to doubt God’s Word… to see his lies as truth instead. He will send whatever causes you to back off from the Truth until he knows you will not fudge or budge. Keep in mind… the longer you withstand, the stronger you become. Our endurance is matured in the struggle. In the end, God’s glory will radiate from us as a testimony to His faithfulness to uphold His Word.