Job 1-2

Acts 7:22-43


“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.”   — James 4:7-8


James calls believers to “resist the devil,” but this is no easy feat. Satan is the number-one enemy of God and all that He created. From the beginning, Satan’s fingerprints are all over the evil atrocities taking place in our world, and his goal is to drive everyone, especially Christians, to be at enmity with God.

        Without the Spirit of God, we are not a match for Satan, but James gives six pointers to arm us in our battle against him. Firstly, we must submit to God. This is a wilful, deliberate decision to bring ourselves daily under the Lordship of Christ. Secondly, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Satan is not an irresistible enemy, but if we give him a foothold by not dealing with our anger, lust, greed or anything contrary to the will of God, the devil gains a grip and will subtly work to lure us away from God.

        Thirdly, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” We cannot be content with saying, “Lord, please be with me,” but we must seek Him, draw near to Him, dare to be honest with Him, and He will draw near to us. Fourthly, we are to wash our hands and purify our hearts (4:8). Washing our hands portrays the washing away of the external act of sin, but the internal act is to purify our hearts in turning away from sin. In our sincerity, Christ works in our hearts to change our behaviour so that our hearts are Christ-centered and become purified.

        Fifthly, “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom” (4:9). This does not sound like Christian talk, but here James encourages mourning over the internal sins we battle with and the worldliness by which we become unfaithful to God. There comes a time when we must truly grieve over our sin and wilfully resist the devil within our hearts. We are far more moved when our emotions are involved, but if left on the outside, what touches our minds will not likely penetrate our wills or our hearts to where we really grieve our sin.

        Sixthly, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” (4:10). Humility before God is the antidote to satanic attack and to the “glitter” of the desires of the flesh. When we humble ourselves before God, we are acknowledging dependence on God, and He will do the lifting. God offers in this resistance of the devil the reorientation of our entire lives to Him. We can then live in His strength with His resources and receive the victory that is ours in Jesus Christ.


Prayer: Lord, I am vulnerable to all the battles we face as a Christian. Help me to be utterly dependent on You and empowered to stand in your strength. Thank You, Lord.

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