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Resist the Devil! (James 4:7)


snake skin

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Jam 4:7 ESV) 


The world we inhabit lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). Satan is a master deceiver who has been tempting humans to sin against God since the very first man and woman walked with God in the garden of Eden. The devil is thousands of years old, yet age has done nothing to weaken the strength of this fallen angel. He has so much experience with hunting his human prey that his fiery darts rarely miss their targets, striking the weakest points in our armor with pinpoint precision. He has one singular purpose—to kill and to destroy, which makes him more deadly of an adversary than all the half-hearted people of this world. Furthermore, Satan does not act alone, for he is the ruler of a united kingdom of demons (Matt 12:26). How sad to think that Satan is sometimes more united than brothers and sisters in the Christian church!  


But the most devious and deadly schemes of the great Tempter of human souls are not found in his frontal assaults against humanity, but rather in his subtle, and eternally devastating suggestions that fly beneath our radar. The great skill of this enemy of our souls lies in suggesting to us ideas that agree with the sin-corrupted reasoning in our wicked and deceitful hearts. To the atheistic professor who is admired for his massive intellect and stellar contributions to research, Satan whispers, “God is a crutch for the weak. You, however are not weak. You are great.” To the religious and proud, the devil says, “Certainly Christ died to save you from your sins, but also need some of your own efforts and other works of the law to be truly saved. Look how well you are doing! You are certainly going to heaven!” To the half-hearted, lukewarm Christian who has put his hand to the plow but constantly looks back, the father of lies says, “As long as you believe Jesus died for you, that’s enough. Don’t let anyone judge you for the sin that you are living in.”  


All throughout the Scriptures, this is his pattern. Satan used Peter’s own heart motives to get him to speak against Jesus’ desire to suffer on the cross. Satan filled the greedy heart of Judas with a plan to betray the perfect Son of God by selling him out for mere pieces of silver. Satan tempted Ananias to guard his own financial and social interests by lying to the apostles who were tasked with laying the foundation for the church of God (Acts 5:3). No human being alive is safe from his wicked words! Yet, we are not hopeless, for the Scriptures command us to RESIST him! And RESIST him we must—in the way that our Lord and Saviour did. In the wilderness, Christ set us an example of spiritual combat as he fought Satan with the living and active Word of God that is sharper than any two-edged sword. Jesus countered every fiery dart, not with his own cleverness and intellect, but with the sword of the Spirit. 


Believer, are there lies that you are believing right now? Are the minions of the kingdom of darkness so feeding your pride that you worship yourself and not Christ? Or are they so crushing you with waves of guilt and despair that you find that you have lost sight of Christ? Resist the devil and he will flee from you! Tell them as you despair over how you will pay your bills that “Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deut 8:3). Tell them as you grieve over your past sins, “Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies (Rom 8:33 ESV).” Tell them when they butter you up and feed your pride that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet 5:5). Strike with God’s divine weapons and the terrible dragon will flee! 


Christian, the venomous snake whose poison sends people into eternal death is no match for the One who lives inside of you. Put on the armor of God and not the armor of Saul which is your own righteousness and works. Sharpen the Sword of the Spirit by filling your soul with the divine Word so that you might not sin against God. Then, resist your devilish opponent with God’s weapons and live in the peace and joy of God. And though the righteous may fall seven times, by the power of God, we will rise again to the glory of God (Prov 24:16). 


Article by: Samuel Chua

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