Text: — James 4:7-10 — 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. [NIV84]
The Big Idea: “But with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
The battle belongs to the Lord, and the human spirit is very willing to let Him have this battle, but the flesh is miserably weak to put up a fight.(Remember the sleepy apostles?) We softly drift into a deep slumbering sleep as the evil one whispers worldly lullabies that numb our souls to the war he is waging against us…. Sounds pretty grim, especially when I put it in such terms, but is this how we resist the devil?
Lifestyle worshipers, whether we resolve never to fall to a particular temptation or determine never to do “that” again, our flesh cannot stand against the wiles of the wicked one. Sounds hopeless? Not really, because “… greater is He that is in [us] than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4b KJV). For we “are from God and have overcome them” (1 John 4:4a NIV84). We do not stand in our strength, but in His. We do not stand in our armor, but His. We do not stand by our cunning but by His Grace. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13 ESV). Did you catch that? “The Way of Escape”!
Brothers & Sisters, no matter how we describe what it looks like to resist the devil, one thing is very certain: We must flee to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Way of Escape from any temptation that has “overtaken” us. So, what does it look like to resist the devil? What does it look like to flee to the Lord Jesus Christ? Care to share?
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
— Matthew 26:41 (NIV)
—Ephesians 4:25-27 (NIV84)
—2 Corinthians 2:10-11 (NKJV)
Lord Jesus Christ, I put You on as my Heavenly Armor: my Helmet of Salvation, my Breastplate of Righteousness, my Belt of Truth, my Shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, my Shield of Faith, my Sword Wielder and my Breath of Prayer. As You empower me to flee the evil desires of my youth, continue transforming me into Your likeness with ever increasing glory. In Your Name, Amen.