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. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:7-10 (NIV)
Submit and Resist
Do you want to be able to stand against evil? Do you want to be able to resist temptation? Do those two questions seem silly to even ask you? I think that is a trick question. Why is that? No question that you would ask me could ever be silly. The question may seem silly to me. The question may seem unnecessary to ask. But the question is not silly and not unnecessary to ask. Why is that? First of all, if I want to stand against evil and resist temptation that must be my firm desire. What do you mean by that? If I like doing evil and living in sin, then I will have no hope of standing against evil and resisting temptation. If my heart and mind are divided on the subject of standing against evil and resisting temptation, I will never have victory over them. Isn’t that obvious? Yes, it is, but not to everyone.
Where must you begin if it is your firm desire to stand against evil and resist temptation? Now, that is a very good and important question. It sounds like you are about to speak from the voice of experience. Yes, I am. I will tell you one thing. What’s that? Victory over evil and temptation does not begin with me. My own power and strength and efforts will never give me victory over evil and temptation. That’s true. If I want victory over evil and temptation I must submit myself to you. I must draw near to you. I must seek you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. I must live in an intimate relationship with you. Your love for me and my love for you will make me want to live in victory over evil and temptation. Why is that? As I keep on drawing near to you, I will continually want to do what is pleasing to you. I will want what you want. I will want to live the life that you have called me to live. That’s true. When I am living in an intimate relationship with you standing against evil and resisting temptation will be the desire of my heart and mind and life. Yes, it will.
What must you do when you see and feel that evil and temptation are attempting to ensnare you? I must run from them. I must run to you. I must keep on submitting to you. I must keep on drawing near to you. I must continue to live in an intimate relationship with you. Then evil will lose its’ power to draw me into temptation and sin. Will you keep on submitting yourself to me? Will you keep on drawing near to me? Will you continue to live in an intimate relationship with me? Yes Lord, I will. Then you will live in the victory I have secured for you. Thank you, Lord.
Heavenly Father, it is my joy and delight to draw near to you. Thank you that you also draw near to me. There is no place that I would rather be than in your presence. I submit myself to you. Guide, guard and protect my life so that the devil must flee from me. Amen
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