30. Resist!

‘Purposing Change’ Meditations: 30. Resist!

Jas 4:7,8 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.”

One of our greatest dangers as believers is to forget that we are spiritual people interacting with God in a spiritual sphere engaged in a spiritual battle with the Sin from the past, Satan lurking in the background, ‘Self’ ever present, and the surrounding unbelieving world.

We need to remind ourselves of our identity, children of God (1 Jn 3:1,2), those who are ‘more than conquerors’ (Rom 8:37) because in one sense Christ has done the battling over our sin for us on the Cross, and in another sense the outcome of the battle has been decreed – Satan and his minions will be cast down (Rev 20:10) and we have a place with God in eternity in a new heaven and new earth and a new Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-7). Yes, all that has been decreed. As one saint used to say, God said it, I believe it, that settles it.

And yet the truth is that we are very much material or physical beings and it is easy to focus on the physical and forget the spiritual. There are clever people all around us, running their lives on the basis of their intellect and yet the truth is they are actually bankrupt. I think of one clever crusading atheist who is on his third marriage. Clearly relationships are not his strong thing. Life without God leaves us vulnerable to our own weaknesses and those of others.

So, just a reminder that this is a long-term spiritual battle which, for some, may go on a while! The fact that we don’t know how long we will be called to battle on this front, as we’ve noted before, makes it often tiring and a potential area for enemy attack. In the light of this we need to be constantly reminding ourselves of some of these truths. ‘In Christ’ you are a scary warrior in the spiritual realms and the enemy is a coward. Yes he is strong and seeks to appear so as a roaring lion (1 Pet 5:8) and subtly sneaky as an angel of light (2 Cor 11;14) but, as with all bullies, he flees when resisted.

Remember he comes with lies (Jn 8:44) – “You are rubbish, give up.” He is a deceiver (2 Cor 11:3) – “it’s never going to happen,” and he’s a tempter (Mt 4:3, 1 Thess 3:5) – “Tell them what you think of them, that will sort them out!”  Don’t fall for any of these – lies, deceits, untruth in action. Stand your ground (Eph 6:13,14), maintain your goal, keep praying, loving, be there for those the Lord wants to rescue through you.

There is also the bigger understanding of why the Lord tolerates Satan’s presence. As a fallen angel we might sometimes wonder why the Lord doesn’t just wipe him out, but that is not the Lord’s way. Even as He uses bad things (see Acts 2:23) for ultimate good, so He uses Satan in the same way. For you and me it is to strengthen us spiritually as we learn to resist him and say, “Back off!” as we remember our starter verses and hold to them throughout this project: 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.”

Getting close to the Lord and staying close, is our strategy and when we do that, we can resist him and tell him to leave. You don’t need to be rude or abusive about it (remember, Jude had something to say about that – Jude v.8-10) but simply take the authority of children of God and say, “Leave, you have no part in my life or the life of my family.” As we more and more catch the Lord’s heart for our loved ones, we can declare, “this one who you accuse is in the process of being snatched from the fire by God, so back off!” (see Zech 3:2) Well you may not hear quite that but if you listen to the Lord, it will be something like that. When you hear the Lord speak His will over your family, hold that word and don’t let the enemy snatch it away. Hold on to it, declare it, believe it, and claim it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s