“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:7-8.
Satan is much more dangerous disguised as a humble and respectful religious person than as a roaring lion. To make him flee, one only needs to resist him. However, to stand against him, we must engage the whole armor of God. “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11.
Through the mouths of the religious, satan will exhort one to stand when the Lord has said resist, which in turn causes the Child of God to stand without the whole armor of God being engaged, thus destroying their faith. It is our faith in Jesus’ finished work, in Jesus’ utter defeat over satan and his wiles, that satan tries to destroy. If our faith is not placed solely and exclusively on Jesus’ finished work (not ours) we do not have dominion over satan (Romans 8:2). By satan continually tempting the Saint to stand against him, when the Lord says to resist him, one’s faith in Jesus’ victory is eventually destroyed because they are standing without the full armor of God and failure is imminent.
For a Child of God to stand against the devil without the full armor of God engaged, reproach is brought upon God and he is not glorified. We have no strength in and of ourselves, it is God’s strength that the Believer needs for victory over the world, the flesh and the devil.
“For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18.
The power of God comes through our faith in Jesus and His finished work. It is not conjured up through self will or presumption. When our faith is placed on Jesus’ finished work on Calvary’s Cross, the Holy Spirit is then commissioned to isolate our sin nature (which we were all born with because of Adam’s fall). “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2.
With our sin nature isolated, satan will continue to tempt the Child of God in order to “activate”, if you will, the sin nature. As we engage instead of resist satan, we begin to make rules to overcome our now “reactivated” sin nature. Through the mouths of the “humble and respectful religious”, satan will tell us the most Scriptural doctrines to do in order to once again isolate our sin nature. These doctrines, although Scriptural, have now become “rules” to overcome sin. Make no mistake, there is but One place sin was dealt with and that is at the Cross of Jesus Christ. Because of these religious doctrines being used to overcome sin instead of the power of God through faith in Jesus, there is no dominion over sin.
There are times the Lord will lead us into the wilderness to author our faith, as His Word says He will do, and He will use satan as His instrument. It is there, in that wilderness, that we stand on God’s Word, in the full armor of God, and understand that the devil is on a leash. If our faith is in Jesus for our dominion over sin and death, if it is in HIM, for Who He is and what He has done, we can be assured our trial or tribulation will result in our faith being strengthened and not destroyed.
“Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the Right Hand of the Throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2. satan is fully aware of Who a Child of God belongs to and what his limits are. The devil wouldn’t be the devil if he didn’t lie and try to convince us otherwise. It is up to us, God’s Children, to choose this day in Whom we are going to believe. Even when our circumstances are not pleasing, look to Jesus for the lesson before rebuking satan. The Lord may in fact be using satan as an instrument to show us something in order to build our faith.
Do you feel like you are in the wilderness? Did the Lord lead you there to show you something? If so, stand on His Word and seek Him for the lesson. Is it possible you did not resist the devil and he has in fact redirected your faith into something other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Did satan give you other means and methods to overcome sin? They won’t work. Has Jesus become of no effect for you because your faith has been placed on that method for victory instead of Jesus for your victory? “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:4. Have you fallen from Grace or been led to the wilderness?
These are all questions that are between you and the Lord. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all Truths. Seek the Lord…submit to Him and resist the devil – satan will flee.
-Donna Clark Warren