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4 Ways to Draw Near to God - Part 2

4 Ways to Draw Near to God - Part 2
Resisting The Devil

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NKJV)

We're looking at a 4 part devotional series titled, 4 Ways to Draw Near to God.  In Part 1 we looked at our first way, which is our complete submission to God and His will; to His Word as absolute authority, and to Jesus as the Lord of our life.   Let's take a look at our 2nd way to draw near to God.

2.    Resist the devil (James 4:7b)

This word  resist, used in James 4:7 comes from two Greek words: stand and against.  So, we need to "resist the devil" by standing against his schemes - we need to resist his lies within our every thought (Eph 6:13-14; 2 Cor. 10:3-5).

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 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, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)

I think there are two big problems within the Christian community, and more specifically, within the individual Christian life.  The first problem is we don't prepare for our daily battle - we probably say, "Oh yeah" when we hear the Scriptures on Protective Armor - knowing we are supposed to be putting on -- but we stop there and we fail to put it on DAILY.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13 (NKJV)

We need to remember, the battle is ongoing and will not stop until we see Christ face-to-face.  

Q:    So, what is our Protective Armor?
  •    The Belt of Truth (Eph. 6:14)
  •    The Breastplate of Righteousness (Eph. 6:14)
  •    The Shoes of peace (Eph. 6:15)
  •    The Shield of Faith (Eph. 6:16)
  •    The Helmet of Salvation (Eph. 6:17)
  •    The only offensive weapon being the sword of His Spirit, which is His Word (Eph. 6:17)  

All too often, we fail to recognize our problems to be because of Spiritual Warfare.  We may say, "I'm just irritated because I'm tired - I've been working hard and I didn't sleep well last night."   But the truth is this is a demonic spiritual battering we are taking, and we are not even identifying it as an attack.  This is not the way God wants us to feel, and if left unaddressed or properly identified, we will probably spend our entire day unhappy or even miserable.  So it is imperative for us to identify the warfare from the enemy and then Resist him.

This brings us to our second problem common within the Christian community and individual life - we don't stand!  We need to say, "No" to those wacky thoughts that pop into our minds and tempt us.  After we have done this, we need to replace them with good healthy ones - Godly thoughts (See Phil. 4:8).  We must remember Scripture has told us to prepare and then to stand our ground, so we must obey it!

...having done all, to stand - Stand therefore (Eph 6:13-14)

God makes us a promise if we do this, and that is the devil will flee (James 4:7).

Hear me in this Christian, Satan and his emissaries are going to hang out and continue to nail us in the same areas we have been susceptible to in the past until we "stand fast."  On the other hand, he will be sent packing by every believer who stands against his schemes by the authority of what Jesus did upon the cross.  We must understand, we can never stand in our own power, but in the power of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us as a helper in all things (John 14:16).  

...Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,  Says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you today, draw near to God by first submitting to Him in every area of your life, and then by resisting the devil's tempting lies - those evil thoughts popping into your head.  Take the thoughts captive and throw them in the trash.  Use the power of God to fight the enemy of God.  

STUDY QUESTION: What does James 4:7 tell us to do?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you resisting the enemy in your own power only to find that you are unable to resist?  

APPLICATION: Seek the power of the Holy Spirit when being tempted by Satan.  Put your mind on the things of God and stand fast.

Father, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit as my helper.  Thank You for giving me the wisdom through Your Word to know how to be victorious in fighting temptations as well.  Help me to identify any thought that is not of You.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit today Lord.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000