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December 26, 2015

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

Never assume that the Devil is done with you. He lurks nearby awaiting a moment of weakness in you or seeking to attack some small chink in your armor to exploit. Satan is wily, inventive, clandestine, suggestive, and persevering. He wants your soul under his thumb. He can buy you, seduce you, snare you, lull you to sleep, or out and out overwhelm you. He has many tricks and ploys in his arsenal. The Devil never plays fair: he has no respect for rules. Expect and suspect his every approach.

Take to heart the first sentence in our text: “Submit yourselves therefore to God”. This is the foundation of resisting being overcome by Satan. Remember always whose servant you are. “But now that you have been set free from sin and become servants of God… ” Romans 6:22a Likewise keep this in mind. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 And, for good measure: “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit  will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:8

Christians must build a strong and active resistance to Satan and his temptations.  Satan will retreat when you display firm defiance to his advances. He is strong, but He who dwells in you is mightier!  However, you must firmly display a solid front against him and he will flee from you (see text  above).

It is imperative that you build a series of defense mechanisms to thwart Satan’s onslaughts. Prepare beforehand multiple defenses for his forays to undermine your soul. Below is a list of suggestions for resistance.

Nancy Reagan, in her antidrug campaign, counseled this: “Just say ‘No”! Detractors ridiculed this as simplistic and idealistic. But Mrs. Reagan was “spot on!  Telling yourself “no” repeatedly when you are tempted bolsters your will to resist. Do it!

Stay out of harm’s way—–don’t go where Satan is present and laying traps.  You know where Satan crouches in wait for those who enter unadvisedly. When you go there you have strayed into eternal jeopardy. In Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles the villain Stapleton flees from Sherlock Holmes across Grimpen Moor. He is sure he knows the way but steps into quicksand. A great warning! ” Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction…” Matthew 7:13a-b

Respect the strength of Satan and his temptations. You may think that some temptations are insignificant and/or easy to free yourself from. Think again! The enticement may seem small, but the temptation is overwhelmingly potent. To take the path into temptation is inviting the roaring lion to consume you.  “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8   You cannot pit yourself against the Devil’s allurements and expect to escape easily. Whether the temptations seem great or small, take evasions and avoid them all. In a word: neither underrate the Devil nor overrate yourself.

Flee from temptations.  St. Paul advised his friend Timothy thusly: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” II Timothy 2:22 This a valid mechanism.  If you think yourself a coward for fleeing, you are mistaken. Temptation may not seem to be overwhelming, but it is very successful in Satan’s employ. I believe it was some Englishman who said, “Discretion is the better part of valor.” That means leave before you lose. Abandon ship! Beat it! Scram! The greatest example of this escape tactic is the patriarch Joseph. When he was alone in Potiphar’s house with the master’s wife she  made overtures to him to commit adultery. Leaving even his clothing behind, he wisely fled. “She grabbed him by his garment and said, “‘ Sleep with me!” But leaving his garment in her hand, he escaped and ran outside.” Genesis 39:12

Always keep the Devil at bay.









One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    I do like this one–very needful. I’ll probably use this outline for a sermon. Thanks!–LS

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