To Submit or Not to Submit (Part 2)


The Temptation of Christ, 1854

The Temptation of Christ, 1854 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:7)

In the Book of James, we are instructed to submit to God and then to “…Resist the Devil…” so that “…he will flee from you.” To resist means “to stand against… to act in opposition” or “to strive against.” If we are to resist the Devil, then we must choose a different course of action. No longer should we submit to the wiles of the Devil but, instead, we should submit to the plans and purposes of God. So doing, we can expect that the Devil to flee. When he sees that we have committed our heart and lives to God, the Devil will flee from us for a season. But we will never experience this if we do not submit ourselves to the powerful grace of God.

The enemy cannot lure us into sin if we see him in advance and are well aware of his tactics. His tactics have never changed; he lures us with (1) the lust of the eyes, (2) the lust of the flesh, and (3) the pride of life. If we look at the Great Temptation of Christ (see Matthew 4:1-11), we learn how to properly “resist the devil.”

  • The Lust of the Eyes:Christ demonstrates that we should trust God alone to provide our needs. If we don’t have it:
    • We don’t need it,
    • It is not the proper season for it, or,
    • We are not ready for it.
  • The Lust of the Flesh: Christ teaches us to find ourselves in the center of God’s will and under His Divine protection. It is not wise try God’s hand of protection as we seek vain pursuits.
  • The Pride of Life: Christ teaches us to worship and serve God alone. We deceive ourselves when we trust in self, our abilities, our talents, etc. All these things are given to us by our heavenly Father. And whatever He blesses us with, we should return it back to Him and bless and honor Him therewith.
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