Did the enemy get the memo about what God has in store for you in 2017? He must have. Because seriously, he is amped! Through a myriad of conversations, coupled with a few incidents of my own, I’m realizing that he is particularly interested in March madness, without having anything to do with basketball. He’s tricky too. Whereas Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore (Hebrews 13:8), the enemy of our souls is diversifying his arsenal. He is intentional in regard to his attempts to get to the big dance. Yet, we mustn’t bow down to his level no matter how the strong the invitation. Resist the devil or he will fee!
The invitation to tangle with the enemy may present in a subtle manner. And if we bite, we may find ourselves in over our heads. A major factor is that we fail to understand the prerequisite for the fleeing of the enemy. In its entirety, James 4:7 reads, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When we fail to submit ourselves, our thoughts, our emotions, our inclinations, our mouth to the Master, we limit our ability to resist. As such, not only have we relinquished our privilege granted as joint heirs, but we’ve lowered our capacity to withstand all that the enemy is taunting. Accordingly, when we are not operating under the power of God, and instead under our power (and I use that lightly), engaging with the enemy will cost us. The fallout is often insurmountable, all because we elected not to yield to the sovereignty of God.
Our failure to resist can impact everything God has granted us access and relationship to; family, health, employment, dreams and purpose! What does a failure to resist resemble? Well, it might manifest as negativity in our mind, gestures and actions with our body, and the infamous words that exit our mouth – none of which speak and edify life for the person or people said behavior is directed to. In fact, its truly easier to fail to resist, than to temper our response, and remind God that it is his battle to handle. Is that easy? Well, I would suggest it is certainly easier when we submit ourselves to God. Even afterwards, we may be concerned, but we will have a degree of certainty that God is in control and that he really doesn’t need or require our assistance. The previous scripture, James 4:6 affirms that God opposes the proud. When we attempt to take on the enemy and act as God’s surrogate, we are not helping, but in fact resisting the order that God established to bless us.
Jesus paid the price at Calvary. Yet, we pay a price each time we act as though the victory has not already been determined. Submission to God quiets the urge to engage in a battle that has previously been determined. Its like playing March Madness in the summer. It’s over! In a few weeks, one team will win the big dance, yet we know right now, who the winner is in the match against the devil. The expense of our sanity, our soul and our salvation mustn’t be compromised. Resist the devil or he will fee! Are you prepared to take that L?