October 31, 2018
James 4:7…Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.
I wonder how many people, as I have, have tried this and only encountered frustration. I speak of the second part of this verse. When I have been tempted, I have verbally resisted the Devil and he did not go away. That causes great consternation. But the verse is a complete thought. The first part of it fits with the second part.”Submit yourself to God.” James is not limiting his thoughts to temptations; he is speaking to lifestyle. Are you, in your life, submitted to God or to the Devil? Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? (Verse 3b) If we don’t resist the Devil, we will likely submit to him.
The Devil will not stop tempting you; that is how he gets our attention. He is leading us to listen to him, and do his bidding. We don’t even recognize temptation except that we have an abiding knowledge of God.
Romans 5:13… For sin, indeed, was in the world before the Law was given, but it is not counted where there is no law.
The Law defines righteousness and, therefore, sin. The first people born on earth, Adam and Eve’s sons, were born into evil but without the Law. One day, in anger, Cain killed Abel. He had likely not yet been taught that killing was not good. God confronted him, and his response to God is revealing… “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Those were not the words of a ruthless killer; they were the words of someone who didn’t know the rules. About many scenarios, we might ask the same question. Jesus, thousands of years later, gave us the answer… “Love one another.” Love is the grease that allows the wheels of God’s world to spin freely. The world mimics God’s laws. Murder is not allowed and one can be incarcerated for doing it. That is the world jumping on board with God and defining wrong. But the world allows for certain motivations and reduces the sentence accordingly. God simply says, “Love your neighbor.” Submitting to God is a life decision, not an event manipulator. Submitting to the Devil puts us under a totally different ruler. Resist that.