November 22: “Some Principles for Spiritual Victory”

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Chronicles 17
James 4
Jonah 1
Luke 6

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

James 4:7 (CSB): “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

As much as a Jesus-follower wants to be like Jesus, it’s going to be a constant battle this side of Heaven.

Essentially, we have three specific enemies fighting against us that are intent in keeping us from progressing in Christlikeness. And to remember those three enemies, all we need to do is remember that they begin with the same sound that Satan would have made as a snake in the Garden of Eden (“ssssssss”): Sin, Self, & Satan.

Sin = the world system that is opposed to God.
Self = the inner sin nature that is opposed to God.
Satan = the ultimate enemy that is opposed to God.

Sin: As we read the Gospels and then the book of Acts, we cannot help but see how the sinful world system responded to Jesus and the truth of the Gospel. It is opposed to it and seeks to silence it. And our sinful world system today does the same thing.

Self: As we reflect on our own struggles, we realize that there are often desires within us that would lead us to do what God has forbidden, or think sinful thoughts, or have sinful attitudes or motives.

Satan: We are told clearly in Scripture that we are to “Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 CSB).

So, we have three spiritual enemies on our journey to become more like Jesus. In our Verse for Today, we are told how to be victorious over the third enemy, Satan.

James 4:7 (CSB): “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Do you feel like you are going through a trial that has the smell of smoke? Does it seem as if it is satanic in nature? Then apply James 4:7!

“Submit to God”: This is a military term that means to rank underneath and to obey the orders of the superior. For the Jesus-follower, this means that we 1) repent of any known sins, 2) consciously submit to God’s authority over our lives, and 3) live with a “yes” attitude to whatever God leads us to do even before we know what He wants us to do.

“Resist the devil”: Once again, this is a military term. It means to take a stand against. For the Jesus-follower, this means that we recognize Satan as the enemy. We understand from Ephesians 6 that we need to be suited up with the spiritual armor and that our weapon is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). So, if we are to war effectively against Satan, then we had better follow Jesus’ example in Matthew 4:1-11 and learn God’s Word so we can use it effectively.

So, when we submit to God and stand against the devil, what will our enemy do? Flee! But, realize that he doesn’t fear you. He isn’t fleeing from you. He is fleeing from Jesus in you as you submit to the Lord. Your power isn’t in yourself but in the God you serve.

As we learn this principle, we will have gained a powerful mindset that can enable us to experience victory against one of the three enemies we will face in our spiritual battles this side of Heaven.

Fight on, Christian soldier, fight on! The battle is almost over! We’re about to go home!

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I don’t want to meander in the one life You have given to me. I realize that when I got saved, I joined Your army. I don’t want to stay in the foxholes. I want to engage the enemy and win battles for You. But I realize that there are specific principles in Your Word that I must know and comply with in order to win the battles. So I commit to reading Your Word, learning it, and applying it. I am consciously in this moment submitting to Your authority over my life and I am standing against anything the devil stands for. I’m ready for battle. Private (your name) reporting for duty, Sir!

Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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