“Be subject therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).”
The world faces us with many temptations. Lust, greed, envy, and pride are prevalent in social media, newspapers, advertisements, and even digested in our sphere of influence. We are only a click, drive, or phone call away from being lured into the lion’s den and ultimately destroyed by the foe of the universe–Satan.
The devil and this fallen world wants to distract us with shiny objects and pleasures that are fleeting to keep us from loving and obeying God. Not only that, but Satan wants to avoid us from finding out the glorious treasures that will bring joy and satisfaction to our souls.
God wants to bless us with an abundant life; that doesn’t mean you will have the nicest home, fanciest car, or most expensive clothes. Rather, God will bless you with the joy of knowing Him; this can’t be replaced by material possessions or even human relationships–only God can give us the true inner peace we all long for. He is a good Father who wants the best for his children.
As a parent myself of three boys, I can attest that I want to provide joy to my family. When they obey Mom and I, they get more freedom. When they are tempted to disobey and play video games when they are not supposed to, their illusory freedom gets taken away.
In fact, the more they rebel and refuse to follow our directions, the more stringent we become. Also, I have noticed that their temper and anger arise when they play too many hours because those video games trigger in them an addiction that leads to both highs and lows. Ultimately, we are doing our best as parents to balance this dilemma.
One of the devil’s oldest tricks is to tell you that God is boring and doesn’t want you to be happy. That is why he has so many rules and regulations. He wants to limit your freedom. But this is quite the opposite of what the Lord wants.
When you abide in the Creator, the Bible says you will produce the fruit of the Spirit: Joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These positive attributes are what many humans long and yearn for. They are virtues that even unbelievers strive for.
Finally, when you cultivate the Holy Spirit and He dwells in you, Satan will flee from you. He can’t stand the presence of holiness and righteousness. He is like a cockroach hiding under a rock, and when you lift up the rock and the light of God’s goodness exposes him, he flees away. This is the best approach towards resisting the devil.
Don’t try to fight Satan on your own. In fact, it is impossible without God. Only He has the power, authority, and divine wisdom to defeat the enemy of our souls.
Continue to abide in Christ. Read the Bible daily. Pray and meditate on God’s Word. Memorize scripture. Fellowship with other like-minded believers. All of these spiritual disciplines will cultivate a healthy spiritual relationship with Yahweh and generate the power to overcome any temptation that comes your way. May the Lord give you strength to do so. In Jesus name. Amen.
Devotional written by Chad A. Damitz