Resist the Devil!
This is day 31 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
All warfare is spiritual warfare at its core. Our physical wars arise from our temptations to greed, envy, lust or other sinful state. As James explains in his epistle, "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want." (James 4:1,2).
James also tells us the solution to these problems. "Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7).
Yes, God will forgive us for our sins, and yes God loves us even though we sin. But let us not use that as an excuse to continue in sin. Sin is very harmful. It harms others when we sin against them, it harms us by darkening our souls and turning us from God, and it harms Creation as a whole. It was sin that turned God's perfect world of beauty and order into the chaotic world we live in today. It is sin that turns neighbor against neighbor. It is sin that is responsible for all of the death and destruction we see.
When we give in to our temptations we are not simply disobeying God, we are helping the devil. When we sin we make the conscious decision to aid and abet the Enemy. We must instead resist the devil. The devil does not like rejection. He is much too vain. If we resist him, James tells us, the devil will flee from us. But when we give in to our temptations we are submitting to the devil and become more his servant and less the servant of God. There is no such thing as harmless sin. If it was harmless it would not be sin.
The next time the devil tempts you to sin remember that giving in to it is submission to Satan's will. We cannot submit to the devil or he will destroy us little by little. We must instead resist the devil!
Today's prayer: Lord, please help me to resist the devil and submit to You completely.
R.C. VanLandingham lives in Florida with his wife and kids. He is the author of several books including the Christian fantasy books Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity, Peter Puckett & the Enchanted Chalice, and Magdalene Hope & the Elves of Evermore.