By Marilynn Chadwick
Learning to resist the devil is an important key to victory in spiritual warfare. Of course, God’s Word is fundamental to our fight. It’s also crucial that we pray. But let’s remember we can’t beat the devil unless we resist.
According to Webster’s, to resist is “to exert force in opposition.” Spiritual victory requires spiritual muscle. The Bible encourages us to take a forceful stand against temptation while asserting our wills to obey:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 NIV).
The Bible reminds us to be alert to the devil’s schemes and take up our weapons of war. But we can’t resist the devil without first submitting our wills to God.
I especially like the way this version puts it: “So place yourselves under God’s authority.Resist the devil, and he will run away from you” (James 4:7 GW).
Authority. Not a popular word today. But you can’t expect to experience the power of God’s Word in battle unless you’re under its authority.
Victory in battle is directly related to submission to God’s authority. This builds spiritual strength, or resistance. Spiritual battles are won before the moment of temptation.
When I watch what I eat, exercise, and get adequate rest, I build my body’s resistance to disease. In a similar way, when I spend time in God’s Word and I’m faithful in prayer, I strengthen my “spiritual resistance.”
In the realm of sports, physical training involves pushing against a source of resistance, such as a weight, to increase one’s strength. Spiritual resistance is the same. What steps can you take to build your spiritual resistance?
When those daily temptations come, remember to “exert force in opposition.” God’s promise is clear. If you do this, the devil will eventually flee from you. You may discover that the very attack that was designed to bring you down has actually made you stronger.
Lord, your Word challenges me to be alert to the devil’s schemes. You remind me that victory is actually won before my moment of trial. I submit to your Word and commit to building my resistance on a daily basis. I trust you for the victory.
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