Where do you submit and where do you resist?

May 31, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

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

If you think about anything in your life, your reactions can be defined as falling on a spectrum with one end point as submission and the other endpoint as resistance. Think about the following in relationship to this concept and see if you agree with me.

1. Getting up and going to work.
2. Sleeping in late on a rainy Saturday morning.
3. Being invited to your boss’s house.
4. Going to a party.
5. Your relationships.
6. Going to church.

Most of us will vary greatly on the spectrum on each of these items depending on a lot of factors, but we all know that some days we are more resistant to things than on other days.

Let me offer up something that I hope you will give some serious inner reflection to. Where do you see yourself in relationship to God on this spectrum? Do you think that you submit most of the time, or do you find yourself resisting God when He doesn’t fit into your plans? Do you find yourself more likely to submit to your sinful nature and the devil, or do you truly desire to resist the devil? Is the devil fleeing from you or are you just fooling yourself simply because you aren’t actively pursuing the enemy?

Human nature draws us into submitting to the things that we truly desire. It also makes us resist things that are opposed to our desires. It is a choice. We can submit to God and resist the devil, or . . .

Where do you submit and where do you resist?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In case that you forgot, Jesus is the bread of life!

March 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
(Matthew 4:1-4 (NIV))

I realize that we live in a physical world and that we need physical nourishment for our bodies, but our society has removed a vital aspect of what it takes to sustain us in a healthy manner. We need God. We need a close relationship with God.

It is this close relationship with God that enabled Jesus to rebuke the devil. If Jesus had not been the Son of God, then the close relationship with God the Father would not have been in place, and the temptation could have been too strong to avoid. Before you explode at that last statement, I want you to think about what I just said. Perhaps I should phrase it like this? If you had been in the situation that Jesus was in, would you have been able to resist the devil? Do you have a close and strong relationship with God the Father so that you can lean on Him for strength when the devil tempts you?

How do you strengthen your relationship with God?

Read and study His Word! The books of the Bible are often referred to as God’s love letters to humanity. They tell of His desires and His love at the same time that they tell of the history of God’s creation, the fall from grace, and God’s plan for redemption.

I want to ask a rhetorical question.

Are you ever tempted?

If you are honest with yourself, then the answer is going to be yes.

How do you resist temptation?

God has a plan for that. He has a plan for anything and everything that we can and will go through in life. That plan calls for us to rely on Him and His Word. We need to feed ourselves spiritually on the very heart of God!

In case that you forgot, Jesus is the bread of life!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Turn from arrogance and turn to God!

December 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
(James 4:7-10 (NIV))

People surround themselves with things that they are comfortable with. Take a look at somebody’s home and you will see how that this is true. If you could take a look at somebody’s heart, you would also see that this is true in spiritual matters. People surround themselves with what they know.

Closely examine what you have surrounded yourself with. Is it Godly or is it worldly? The two are opposite extremes. You cannot be surrounded with worldly matters and still be able to focus on God. You cannot walk the middle ground between the two. It is time to break out of the comfort zone and focus exclusively on one.

By focusing on God, you will resist Satan, and, as the verse claims, he will flee. A relationship with God is like a relationship with anyone. If you are willing to become friends with someone, they are more receptive. The more that you learn about the other person, the more that they will learn about you. Do not present the world with an arrogant attitude, for that attitude is from the devil.

Turn from arrogance and turn to God.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stand firm in your faith. Stand with Jesus. Stand with other believers.

September 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
(1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV))

There are two very important lessons contained within these words. Sometimes it is difficult to believe the second lesson, but we all know the first lesson. The first lesson is that the we must be firm in our faith for when the devil attacks us. Think back on your last attack from the devil. How did you make it through? There is a very good chance that you prayed and stayed within God’s Word, constantly looking for guidance and assurance. Perhaps this last attack even brought you back to these habits. Regardless of when and where the attack came, it did come. The devil does not give up. When your resistance is low, he will attack again, for when your resistance is low, your relationship with God is probably low as well.

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

By now you can probably discern what the second lesson is. I have alluded to it through what appears to be a common occurrence for everyone. The second lesson is that you are not alone in your attacks from the devil. Sometimes it seems that we are the only one who faces these attacks, but it is at these times when we become so self focused that we seem to lose the ability to see what is going on with other believers. Many people are facing attacks at this very moment. They never come when we are ready for them. We can only respond based on how strong our faith is. We can also respond with other believers and unite with them in resisting the devil. Faith is both a personal and a communal characteristic. We need to reach out to God on the personal level, but we also need to reach out to others at the communal level to lift up and to be lifted up, to resist and to help to resist.

Stand firm in your faith. Stand with Jesus. Stand with other believers.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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