Last week I shared thoughts about Jesus being our everything. Whatever we need — He is. All that He has — we have, too. When we begin that practice of placing our focus on Him, peace begins to settle in the storms of our lives, but something else takes place, too. It is this “something else” that we need to be aware of and take heed.
You see, the devil will not be pleased at your endeavors. In fact, he will be outraged at your quest to focus on Jesus because he hates Jesus with a passion. Therefore, we are warned to be careful of attacks from the devil. James 4:7 reads, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
This is a most helpful verse. Let’s look at it carefully. First, the dictionary definition of “humble” is this: “to show a modest estimate of one’s own importance.” Therefore, in the light of this verse, we are instructed to focus, not on our own importance, but as we humble ourselves before God, we are reminded once again, that the focus is, in fact, God Himself. In other words, our own importance is nothing compared to the greatness of God; and yet, even as we are nothing and He is everything, He loves us and longs to fill us daily with His own power and wisdom.
When we focus on that, what happens? We find that it is indeed possible to resist the devil and his depressing thoughts and lies. When we resist him, we are found to be steadfast in our faith in God’s care for us. That’s a lovely thought but there is something else to remember. Look at the verse again. It says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” In other words, he will flee for that moment — but beware! He will return at a later time!
When the devil fails at keeping us from coming to accept Jesus as our salvation, the next thing he attempts is to keep us weak. He doesn’t want our faith to grow strong. He doesn’t want us focusing on God’s love for us. He doesn’t want us to realize that God is our everything to get us through anything. Therefore, he will keep coming back to tempt us, to lie to us, to get a foot into our door of peace in order to throw in his havoc.
We must resist the devil again and again. What a tiring thought! How do we accomplish this? The answer is found in Ephesians 6:13, “Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil. so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.” Isn’t that a wonderful verse? What a terrific instruction, reminding us that if we dress in God’s armor, then the evil darts of Satan cannot penetrate; we will be left standing firm.
What is God’s armor? That’s found in Ephesians 6:14-17. They are: the belt of truth, body armor of righteousness, shoes of peace, a shield of faith, a helmut of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the very Word of God. Satan is strong but God is stronger. Therefore, when we are dressed in the armor of God, Satan cannot win.
Remember the story of Jesus in the desert? He was met by Satan who tempted him powerfully. How did Jesus resist? He skillfully used His sword of the Spirit — the Word of God. What happened? Satan had to flee. He absolutely cannot stand against God’s Word. That’s why it’s vital to our daily peace and joy to skillfully use the Word of God. We must hide the words in our hearts. We when do so, we will be ready to draw our swords and fight to victory when Satan attacks.
God’s Word is the only way to constant victory. All other attempts pales in comparison. May you dress for battle everyday and may you rejoice in every victory!