Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (December 19, 2022)

We have been looking at the primary enemy of the children of God, which is the devil. We have seen his power and his purposes, and how he operates against us. Today, we want to look at some ways that we can resist him.

James tells us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. He would not have told us to “resist” if it were not possible for us to do so! So how can we successfully face off against so powerful an enemy?

The word “resist” used by James means “to stand against, to oppose, to set oneself against.” So the first thing we must do is “set ourselves against” Satan. Too often we try to reach a “compromise” with our enemy, which NEVER works! We must fully set ourselves against him, using all the tools God has given us.

One set of tools that we have is found in Ephesians 6. We are given a list of items of spiritual armor that will help us in this spiritual battle. And while I won’t list them all now, notice that the purpose of the armor is to allow us to “stand.” Eph. 6:10 et seq. We are not engaged in an offensive engagement, but maintaining a defensive posture. You see, the ground that we are holding has already been won! Jesus completely won the war on the cross, and Satan cannot have one inch of it, but he CAN take away your joy while in the Kingdom. Our job is to stand in the conquered territory against the devil who seeks to steal away our enjoyment of it.

Going back to James’ commandment to “resist,” notice that before we resist we must submit! “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” James 4:7. This makes perfect sense, because before someone can be a good soldier he must learn submission to the commander of his own army. “Basic training” consists primarily of teaching a new recruit to follow orders without question! In the case of our spiritual warfare, we must unquestioningly follow the commands of God – “submit” ourselves to Him in faithful obedience. Only then are we able to fully “resist” the devil!

Peter has somewhat to say about the matter as well. You may recall that Peter calls the devil a “roaring lion,” and warns us of his evil intentions. 1 Pet. 5:8. But then he goes on to say this: “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Pet. 5:9. Notice that he said we should resist Satan “in the faith” – not just “in faith”! Peter is not merely talking about our own personal faith, separate and apart from the word of God and the Kingdom of God. Rather, he is speaking of “THE faith” – that is, the canon of Scripture and the Kingdom (Church) of God!

The world tells you “just have more faith,” and you can be successful against Satan. But God says we must also immerse ourselves in the Scripture and attach ourselves to the Kingdom! The Lone Ranger was a fictional character, and YOU are no Lone Ranger, Child of God! We were designed to be a part of the church, and not to try to “go it alone.” We must be careful to keep our minds focused on the bible, and our bodies present in the church. Otherwise, we may very well lose the blessings of the Kingdom that Christ has already won!

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor