Friday, May 2, 2014
May 2: He will flee from you
Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (James 4:7,8 HCSB)
So many people complain that God doesn’t do anything for them. They believe in God, pray, go to church, help others, and are genuinely good people, but are frustrated because God doesn’t answer their prayers. Some have given up on miracles completely, concluding that He doesn’t do what He did in the past. Others have given up on church because they don’t get anything out of it; they still believe in God, but their relationship with Him is on the back burner because they’ve never seen Him do anything great in their lives, or in the lives of anyone around them.
But today’s verse teaches us something great. Both promises are precede by a necessary action on our part. The devil will flee, but we have to resist him; God will draw near to us, but we have to draw near to Him; the devil will flee, but we have to submit to God. This means we have to clothe ourselves in the armor of God, say “no” to temptation when it comes, do the opposite of what the devil tells us to do, and trust that God is in total control.
The devil and his demons are weak. They were defeated 2000 years ago. But many good people still feel bound by evil and far from God because they’re not doing their part. I don’t say this because I want you to feel guilty, or feel like a bad Christian. I say this because submitting, resisting, and drawing near to God are actions that are very much within our reach... we can do this! These actions are not reserved only for the super spiritual; they’re for the ordinary, run of the mill Christian, for you and me! All three are common concepts that we practice on our jobs, with our family, and out on the street every single day. We routinely submit, resist, and draw near in ordinary, physical situations; we are not totally unfamiliar with these attitudes. The challenge is to apply them to the unseen, spiritual world around us in a manner that will bring results with God, the devil, and demons.
God promises that the devil will flee. He promises that He will draw near to you. These two promises are very clear. If we want them, we have to do our part.