DVO June 30, 2019

Title RESIST THE DEVIL

James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
All believers face spiritual warfare. If you belong to Jesus, then you will engage in some conflict against darkness. Sometimes it is very evident and easy to discern that demonic darkness is seeking to wage some form of assault upon us, but there are other times when this battle with darkness is subtle and sneaky. We are warned by God that we should be sober minded and watchful because as an adversary Satan is looking for opportunities to consume and devour our testimony, witness and usefulness to God (I Peter 5:8). Satan has determined to try to destroy anyone that has professed faith in God and has become a member of God’s family through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The enemy wants to harm us through many destructive and seductive strategies, yet our faith embraces the authority and promises of God to protect His own. Our present verse of devotion reminds us that the experience of victory in this battle depends on how we walk in the two areas of submitting to God and on the other hand, resisting the devil. The issue may boil down to the length of time that we are under attack or temptation. Sometimes the enemy’s persistence will outlast our resistance. We fail when we give up too soon by resorting to our own strength and understanding and not maintaining our submission to God.

When we step outside of God’s will, we open our lives up for Satan or his demons to sow seeds into our lives for our destruction and those that are in close relationship and proximity to us. Every struggle may not involve demons directly, but when we are consistently opening ourselves to pathways and people of darkness, it will bring us into contact with the evil one and his messengers of evil. We must also be mindful that spiritual warfare does not only come when we drift outside of God’s will, but it can come because we are in the center of His will and Satan wants to block our obedience that could lead to God’s glory. Dean Sherman, in his book Spiritual Warfare, tells us that there are three battlefields that we need to keep winning if we are to successfully resist the devil. These battlefields are the mind, the heart, and the mouth. When we protect these areas and yield them to the control of the Holy Spirit, we close these potential open doors that Satan and demons seek to use for their evil work among us. Submitting to God by yielding to His free access and control will be our source of resistance that blocks any influence demons try to have in our lives.

Our battle is against forces that are real and powerful, and they should not be underestimated. We don’t look for demons in everything, but we must be discerning beyond some struggles with people to realize that there is a spiritual realm that is actively at war between light and dark in our lives. The persistent unchanging goal is to make us ineffective for God’s Kingdom and to keep unbelievers away from God (2 Corinthians 4:1-5). If we are going to resist, we must resist in the faith (I Peter 5:9); we must resist standing in God’s armor (Ephesians 6:11); we must resist in prayer (Ephesians 6:18); and we must resist in obedience (Romans 6:17). We must never forget that Satan is a defeated enemy, so believers need not fear him. When we resist him, he will flee from us (James 4:7).

Prayer: Our Eternal God and Father, we pray about the spiritual battle that we are facing today. Keep us we pray so that the enemy will not defeat us, our families, and our friends. We claim Your faithful promises assuring our hearts of the victory that You have already secured for us and the forgiveness of our sins through our Lord Jesus, in His great name, amen.

(by Pastor Wayne Cockrell)