James 4:7 So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.
So there you are heading down the highway and then you hear it. It sounds like someone popped a very big balloon. The ride gets rough on one side of the car. Yep, it’s a tire blown out. Time to pull over to the side of the road, get into the trunk, get the jack and wrench out, then proceed to loosen those lugs nuts and take off the bad tire. Once you get the car jacked up and the tire off, what good would it do if that was all you did? Obviously if you want to get back on the road you are going to have to do more than just remove the bad tire, you need to fetch the spare and put it on.
A rather simple illustration I know, but one of the problems within the body of Christ today is we may often think about submitting to God, but far to often we are not resisting the devil and his works against us. I find that one of the reasons this is true is because people are either lacking in their understanding of spiritual things, or they have just forgotten the importance of what every believer needs to stay aware of in dealing with the works of the enemy.
One thing you are not hearing much of any more is teaching on dealing with the demonic attacks that come against us. Far too many ministers are not teaching their church families about the enemy we face and how he works. At the same time I know people also get a little leery when it comes to this topic because of those who go to extremes and claim that everything negative is a demon. We certainly know from God’s Word that this is not the case, even when it comes to dealing with people. There is a fleshly nature that can rise up and as my Pastor Dr. Barclay has said many times, “We can’t cast you out of you”. But we need to be aware of the enemy, how he works, and what we need to do to resist him.
2 Cor. 2:11 I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.
Satan is a schemer, and he works through his demons to try and outwit believers by deception. One of the biggest problems where many have unfortunately been taken advantage of is through the lies that demons get people to believe. They will not only work to get you to believe a lie, but to convince others as well. This lying demon will convince believers they don’t need church; they can live how they want and do what they want because it doesn’t really matter. But that is not what scripture teaches
Another aspect of the schemings of the devil is to get believers lulled to sleep where they begin to no longer resist what he is saying to them in their thoughts, and where they no longer resist the things around them that are evil. They just begin to accept what they see as a “natural” part of everyday life and society. The enemy then slowly begins to infiltrate their lives and little by little he begins to take advantage of believers. We need to understand not only the workings of satan, but we need to awaken ourselves and keep awake to what he is trying to do and we must then resist him and his works.
Before we begin to talk about resisting satan we need to touch on submitting to God. The simple truth about what submitting to God is all about can be summed up in one word, “obey”. Any believer that thinks it is not important to obey God and His Word is fooling himself or has already been fooled by the devil. James tells us that if you are a hearer and not a doer of the Word you deceive yourself. Obedience to God is not bondage, quite the contrary. Obedience to God is one of the smartest things you can do.
God knows more than we do. Our choosing to not obey God is living as our own god. The reason people “choose” not to obey God is because they have not fully surrendered to Him. When you know what God says and yet choose not to do it, you are acting out of a form of rebellion. For example if you as a child when growing up knew what your parents said you were to do and chose not to do it, that was clearly seen as a type of rebellion. It is no different with God. So it goes without saying we must submit to (obey) God first and foremost.
1 Pet. 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
1 Pet. 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Pet. 5:9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Here is one of the primary areas that satan creeps into peoples lives unnoticed. Think about how many people today are weighed down with the cares of life. There are many different types of cares people carry. Some are full of cares because they fell for the lie that they had to have all the new gadgets and toys that everyone else has so they borrowed and borrowed to the point that they have to work all kinds of hours or even multiple jobs to afford their lifestyle. This financial pressure becomes a great burden on many people, but it is often self-inflicted. The answer here is simple; stop falling for the lie that having all those things brings true happiness. When you get to heaven those things won’t matter any more, but you don’t have to get to heaven to find that out.
God is not against us having things, but for far too many those things have them. They have allowed this lying demon to convince them that their lives will be miserable if they don’t have or do all these things. This comes from what others have and we envy them, which is a sign of being an immature Christian according to 1 Corinthians, or it comes from the influence of the world that convinces us that you cannot be happy without what they are trying to sell you. One of the ways you resist the devil is to live within your means. That seems to be hard for Americans to do, as our government itself has been unable to do so.
Other cares of life will also come through circumstances and challenges we face because we are in a fallen world. If you carry the burdens that circumstances can bring you are going to be taken advantage of by satan through the weight of those cares. This will produce worry, fear, anger, frustration, etc., and you cannot walk in those things and walk in faith at the same time. You must resist the devil when He tries to get you focused on what is happening in the natural. If you don’t resist those cares won’t go away. You must deliberately choose to cast those cares over upon God. You do this as you take time to draw near to Him and focus on Him.
Is. 26:3 You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
What a powerful verse of scripture we have here in Isaiah 26. God will keep us in perfect peace if we keep our mind stayed on Him, not on our problems. That takes effort, but that is what it takes to resist satan. The term here for “perfect peace” means a peace that produces health, prosperity, and wellbeing. It is obvious why satan is out to get us to carry the cares of life, but if we will resist him guess what, he will flee! He has to because God’s Word says so. Some may say, “I tried to resist satan but he didn’t go anywhere”. I am sorry but I believe God’s Word. If you really do resist him as scripture teaches us to, he will flee.
2 Cor. 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
2 Cor. 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
2 Cor. 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
The primary area for satan to come against us is in our mind. He will work to get us to reason out things through our thinking. He will get us thinking things that go against what God’s Word says. As brother Kenneth Hagin used to say if you allow satan to keep you in the realm of reason he will whip you every time. But if you will hold him in the realm of faith you will defeat satan every time. We must know the Word of God. It is one of the greatest weapons we have, and it reveals the other weapons God has given to us and how to use them. Stop allowing thoughts to come to you that you don’t examine in light of the Word but just begin to reason about them in your mind. Examine every thought that comes to you in light of the Word of God. Cast down all that are contrary to His Word.
We must submit to God if we want what God has for our life, but we must also resist the devil if we want to see him flee and to stop him from taking advantage of our lives. God has made us “more than” conquerors through Christ who loves us. He has given us the ability to resist our adversary, and to win!
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker