Saturday, July 5, 2014

Resist the Devil and He Will Flee

Did you know that Satan is not everywhere? I've been studying my King James Bible about resisting the devil and one thing that is important to note is that neither the devil nor his helpers are omnipresent. Satan is a single, created being with limited abilities and limited power, as are his devils/fallen angels.

Therefore, Satan cannot be in your living room and on the plains of Africa at the same moment.  It's odd that many people speak of him as though he were everywhere, when the truth is that only God is everywhere (omnipresent). He may have his servants all over the place, but they are all only single beings, too.

According to the Bible, an angel is a "messenger".  The Bible indicates that angels are all over and they are watching us, both the good ones and bad ones. And while the devil and his angels cannot read your mind, they CAN hear what you say and see what you do.

They can hear you pray out loud in faith and praise to God, as well as hear you yell at your children or rebel toward your husband.  They see what we do when we are alone. They see what we do on the internet, what books we read, what habits we have and what entertains us.

God tells us to resist the devil. Not to fight, but resist.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
How Can We Resist the Devil? 

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:9-11
For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you whether ye be obedient in all things. 
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
These verses seem to indicate that Satan and his crew use unforgiveness to their advantage. Unforgiveness is where the root of bitterness starts. And Satan can, will and does help to destroy people who are bitter.  No wonder there are so many verses saying to put off ALL bitterness, envying, strife, etc.  It's for our own good!

The fact is we have an ememy and he and his army are out to get you and me. He wants our marriages, our children, our health, our witness and ultimately our souls. And he is targeting our homes.  We must not be ignorant of his devices.

Behavior in every day life is more important than many people realize. If our actions speak of who we are to the people around us, how much more to the DEVILS around us who sees what we do 24/7?  
It's really important that we abide in Jesus. He will fill our tanks when we are low. It's not up to our husbands to be our "everything".  When we love, it must be with expecting nothing in return.  

Walking in holiness, forgiveness, charity and faith is resisting the devil in action.
Genesis 30:33... Jacob said..."My righteousness shall answer for me".
Job 29:14... Job said..."I put on righteousness and it clothed me." Righteousness actually clothed Job like a robe.
Hebrews 1:9....speaking of Jesus..."Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore (because of this) God, even thy God, hath annointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."  Righteousness and God's anointing are connected! (italics mine)

We can avoid the appearance and not allow ourselves to get into any unseemly circumstances. For example, someone who's been born again, but who used to get drunk, should not hang out at a bar. This would be resisting the devil in action.

A man who formerly molested children should never, EVER be alone with a child. He should never seek to hold a child or expect to be trusted with a child - for the rest of his life.  This would be  resisting the devil in action.

There are many "christians" preaching that sinning is normal and can't really be helped. But the reason people subscribe to this belief is because it serves to relieve personal blame (and the resulting guilt) by saying that God pre-ordains everyone's action good or bad.  The truth is that the only thing in the Universe (that we know of) that God doesn't control is man's will.

Sin originates with lust.  We think of lust as a bad thing, but actually the way the Bible uses the word, lust is just another word for desire. If the desire is unholy, it's a sinful lust. But just the act of lust or desire is not inherently evil.  Look what God said to the Hebrews,
Deuteronomy 12:15 Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.

Here, God uses the word lust to refer to eating. He said the people could eat whatever their soul lusted for - steaks, lamb chops, fish, roast chicken, etc.

So lust means desire and represents our God-given drives. The bible calls them the "lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life".

Jesus Christ had the same God-given drives that we all do, including hunger. The difference was that he didn't give in to any sinful lust.  His human drives were apparent in the mountain when the devil came and tempted him with three things he desired.

1. The Lust of the Flesh: Jesus' first temptation was to eat.  He'd just completed a 40 day fast and naturally, he was hungry. There's nothing wrong with eating.  Perhaps the evil lay in meeting such a need at the prompting of the devil, when doing so would mean miraculously feeding himself. Turning a stone into bread would be such a miracle. He was completely capable of doing that, but it might have meant doing it without authorization by God the Father, and before the appointed time.
John 5:19  ...the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

2. The Pride of Life: the second temptation of the devil was for Jesus to show his absolute, omniscient power before the appointed time

3. The Lust of the Eyes: the third and final temptation was seizing the kingdoms of the world. Jesus wanted them very badly and knew he was prophesied to have them. But this, too, was before the appointed time.

We can only be tempted by something which we have a natural desire or lust for. (I speak of only natural desires, not evil ones.)

When a believer is faced with any temptation, he is not helpless - God has told us to put on the armor that we need to overcome any and all temptations.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Clearly, God requires us to resist the devil and has provided the way for our victory.  But we're still accountable for our own actions and we must exercise our faith. The reason I believe this is because the Bible teaches it. And the Bible contains the perfect, pure and holy words of God that have been given to us to learn by and live by.

God has directed us to resist and stand. And He will do our fighting. 

We pray, he fights. 

We petition, he answers yes, no or wait. And then gives us peace that passes understanding. 

We draw near to him, he draws near to us.

We put on the armour of God. He defends us. 

We have faith unwavering till the end. He saves us.

We need to be reading the Bible more than devotionals, self-helps, and other Christian books. Nothing will produce better fruit, stronger faith or greater works than the Word of God. 

Even if it's just a few scriptures here and there to meditate on throughout the day. And if you aren't reading a King James Bible, I encourage you to have one open along side whatever Bible you read and take note of the differences. This can even be done online as many Bible websites feature parallel Bible versions. 

If you compare Bibles, notice which one exalts the name of Jesus and which one points to his shed blood.  It's important to compare everything we hear from men (pastors, preachers, teachers) with the Word of God.  We must get to know what God says better than anything man says. His Words are holy and pure and true and will help us grow and mature.

We have been given Scripture, the living, breathing words of God and we can speak his Words in faith and know that our enemy MUST flee.

Because the bible says so.


Laura Spilde said...

This is very good. The more we know the word, the less the world, the flesh and the devil will tempt us....

Anonymous said...

Very encouraging!!