Meditating on the Will of God: 19: Resistance is Futile?
Gen 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
In the Star Trek film and TV series, there is a time when the humans are confronted by an enemy called the Borg who are very powerful and overrun races and assimilate them into ‘the collective’ and their dominating and scary cry is “Resistance is futile!” We have an enemy who says the same thing. We are confronted by life, by pain, by difficulties, by sin, by bad habits, by circumstances before us and they seem like a giant or a mountain in front of us and we ‘know’ that ‘resistance is futile’ because we hear it in our heads. All this talk about God’s will, we hear, is all very well but it just doesn’t work, you can’t break free from this sin, you might as well give way to this temptation, you might as well learn to live with these difficulties, there is no hope. So the lies continue to come and we passively allow ourselves to be dominated.
And then we find a simple little verse like the one at the top today. They are the words spoken by the Lord to Cain about his poor attitude, warning him that that he has choices to make. See the first part of the verse. It shows there IS a choice before him but the danger is that he is being confronted by a temptation to sin and, like a lion at the door, it desires to devour him, but he can overcome it! The warning was there, the choice was laid before him but tragically he ignored it and went out and killed his brother. Sin devoured him. God in His grace did not destroy him but banished him.
Perhaps the classic illustration of all this is that of David and Goliath. At the time David was a shepherd boy looking after his father’s sheep. He had a number of older brothers and they went off to war in Saul’s army. One day David’s father decided to send David to the battle front with provisions for his brothers. When he arrives there he finds a tragic situation. The Israelites are fighting the Philistines but when the two armies line up to fight, a massive giant steps out of the Philistine ranks and challenges the Israelites: “Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” (1` Sam 17:8-10) This was the enemy laying down the rules and we find, “On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” (v.11)
Now when I read these words I am afraid I wonder at the foolishness that we allow ourselves to be drawn into. There have been times in history when fighting was carried out in an almost gentlemanly, leisurely way when opposing commanders agree the time of the battle and so on, and both neatly lined up their men to fight. And then there have been those who saw the folly of this and just attacked when it was right for them and caught the enemy by surprise. War is not gentlemanly, it is not civil, it is not noble and it always starts from sin, one person or group deciding to hurt, dominate or destroy others. So this giant comes along and says, “This is how we’ll fight.” If Saul had anything about him he would have sent ten soldiers to take him down, but he didn’t and so all Israel cowered before this terrible threat. ‘Resistance is futile!’
And then David arrives and he is a young man of God. Listen to his language: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam 17:26) This is the language of a man or woman of God. Look at it: “this uncircumcised Philistine”. This enemy is not part of the covenant people of God. He is not related to the Lord, he has not got God on his side! We are the army of the living God. The ‘I AM’, the Eternal One, is our God and He is on our side! This young man knows who he is and knows who is on his side: “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Sam 17:37). He has a testimony, he knows what the Lord has done for him in the past as He has helped David protect his flock, and this is no different!
On one occasion Isaiah cried, “To the law and to the testimony!” (Isa 8:20) You want guidelines? he said to Israel, then look to God’s law and look to what you know of Him and what he has done. Today, when the enemy confronts you with something that just seems too big to be overcome, remember who you are and who He is. Remember that the apostle Paul said we can be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6) God did not go to all the trouble of sending Jesus to die for you and did not go to the trouble of putting His own Holy Spirit in you, for you to lie flattened by the will of Satan. Remember that other key verse: “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Rom 8:28) God IS working in your circumstances, on your behalf, to bring good to you. As He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:9) so that Paul had been able to say, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8) Note the four ‘all’ words!
If you are being dominated by the enemy, confronted by life, by pain, by difficulties, by sin, by bad habits, by circumstances before us and they seem like a giant or a mountain in front of us, remember who you are and, even more importantly, remember who He is, and that He is there for us. Satan’s will is bad for you; God’s will is good for you! Reach out and receive His power to overcome, child of God! That is His will for you.