James, the half-brother of Jesus, gives one of the greatest promises in all the Bible. This promise has brought comfort and encouragement to every child of God and in every conceivable circumstance that life could bring. This promise gives the steps to overcome Satan every time, and it never fails. There are three steps and two specific promises.
Step 1: James tells the believer to first, “submit…to God.” Submission is “surrender, to release control over, to place yourself under the authority of, to submit to one’s control.” In other words, you are no longer in control; God is. When you submit to God, you have all the resources of heaven available to you.
Step 2: “Resist the devil.” “The devil,” Satan, is a real enemy; he is not just a force of evil. He knows what will tend to defeat you, where you are most likely to be defeated, and when you most likely will succumb to temptation. The word “Resist” means “to oppose, to stand against, to withstand.” It is an intentional, deliberate opposition to Satan. The promise is that he will flee, he will leave, he will exit in defeat. Wow, what a promise!
“Draw near to God” means “to approach.” God is approachable. You can approach Him through prayer, through opening His Word, through obedience to His will and through worship. When you do, the promise is that God draws near to you, He approaches you. The next move is yours. God is waiting on you to take the first step toward Him. Sometimes pride—wanting your way instead of God’s way—keeps us from taking this step. Drawing near to God is not a feeling; it is a willful choice.
Daily Do It
Ask the Holy Spirit right now, “Is there anything in my life I have not surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?” Is there a habit you have not surrendered? Is there a relationship you have not surrendered? Is there an area of your life…Is there a grudge or spirit of un-forgiveness you have not surrendered? Let’s focus on that for a moment. Is there someone who has wounded or offended you whom you have not forgiven? Right now, surrender your right to hurt back the person who hurt you. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice you make. Un-forgiveness may be the area where Satan has found a stronghold in your life, and it is blockading what God wants to do in and through you. Chose to let it go!
Quote of the Day
“God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.”
— Andrew Murray