”God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:6-7
Dear heavenly Father, meditating through this Scripture reminds me how I can make things more complicated than they need to be. This is certainly the case when it comes to spiritual warfare.
When I look back over the years at all the different teaching I’ve had about “fighting the devil,” much of it promoted more fear than faith, more phobia than freedom, more preoccupation with lord of darkness than fascination with the Light of the World. Somewhere along the line, I missed the image of a “fleeing devil.” Alas, another arena for gospel-sanity.
I know that we can’t afford to be naïve or cavalier about the seductive and destructive schemes of the enemy (2 Cor. 2:11). Because of the “it is finished” of Jesus’ cross, the devil knows his time is short, and he is filled with fury. En route to his sure demise, he ramps up his seducing, tempting, and condemning ways, every opportunity he gets; but a defeated foe he is, for Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of the devil, and he has succeeded! (1 Jn. 3:8)
So Father, teach me more about resisting the devil with the gospel. Only the gospel frees us to see and own our weakness and susceptibility to the devil’s schemes. I purpose not be sucker-punched by my arrogance and pride. Indeed, I need the gospel today as much as I did the first day you declared me to be righteous in your sight. I trust you in this moment for all the grace I’ll need to live for your glory this very day.
Accordingly, Lord Jesus, right now I submit to you as my Prophet, Priest, and King. You are our wisdom, our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption from God (1 Cor. 1:30). I boast in you plus nothing, for my standing and protection from God; for there’s nothing boast-worthy in me.
I’ll resist the devil’s deceitful and damning ways by looking unto you, Lord Jesus, pondering your beauty and bounty; your mercy and your might; your victory over evil and death, and your authority over all things.
With the eye of faith, I set my gaze on you, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). I’m not even going to glance at the devil as he flees, and flee he must. So very Amen I pray, in your powerful and triumphant name.