It’s 6:04am and I just woke up from a rather short sleep. My phone’s notification light has been blinking close to my pillows as I looked at it in suspicion.
“I must have left the data connection ON”, I said to myself.
Well, it turns out I did and of course, my notification board was filled with messages from social media apps. In the next couple of minutes I will lay back and try to win the battle in my mind over stretching my hands to reach out for my phone or to reach out for my Bible.
Somehow, I managed to get across to my Bible and mehn, I was grateful I did. Just so you know, I get to fight this battle like every other day and I’m happy to say my win ratio is steadily increasing 😄.
I’ve got to be in the office before 7:30am. Usually, when I wake up this late (I know some of you wii say I am forming mr early wake-er na. Is it your waking? 😛), I get to fight one more battle, the second being with how I get to stay on the Word during my devotion without rushing through and jet off to work.
Finally, I managed to get to the office early enough- don’t ask me what time. I quickly ran through my notifications to see what’s there. One particular message left on my whatsapp struck me.
“How does the Believer resist the devil?” was the question left me by a dear friend.
My first reaction was typical of a Nigerian, ‘ghen-ghen-ghen-ghen, this one is strong ooo’.
The first response that came to mind and I believe it’s same with you was, “the WORD of God na”.
Well, I’m sure the dude knew the answer was the Word of God; but then, the next question in his mind would be, how do you mean the Word of God? How do I get to use it when it comes to me resisting that ‘ugly, double-horned man’ as popularly described and called the devil?
I’ll start by reminding you that the devil we get to face on a daily basis isn’t the man you just described. Or rather, doesn’t come to us in the form you just described. Let me tell you one thing about the devil; he’s got very rich curriculum vitae loaded with experiences of successful victories over millions of persons. The good thing is, as smart as he thinks he is, he is never going to be able to decipher the power inherent in God’s word. That has been his water-loo. It will continue to be his weakness. It has always been like an away match for him and since Matthew chapter 4 till date, he is yet to record an away win.
That been said, let’s go straight to answering the prevailing question.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” James 4:7.
I see a couple of word to reckon with in the above verse if we are to achieve the end result of putting the devil on his heels. Since our discussion bothers around resisting the devil, permit me to start with the word resist.
To resist means to withstand, strive against, or oppose in one way or the other. This can be a defensive maneuver on our part, like resisting or withstanding the temptation to sin.
It can also be an action we take to use the offensive weapon in the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18), the sWORD of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
I flipped open my dictionary to see what, in the lightest sense, it means to submit.
- accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person
- subject to a particular process, treatment, or condition
Oga, are you seeing what I am saw? * 😱. In my opinion, I think this is where we miss it the most.
You cannot put the cart before the horse, Mba! You just cannot. Trying to resist the devil while still holding on to some sort of self, is like a servant trying to talk back at his master in the days of the slave trade. Your guess is as good as mine with respect to what becomes of the servant.
Submitting to God is a process of refinement. It’s a point where your former sense of judgment, logic and reasoning becomes exchanged for His.
Brotherly, the devil will not tempt you with what he knows your old self didn’t or wouldn’t lust after! Just to be clear, every temptation you face after being born again is referenced from the cravings of your former nature.
So, my dear BV, as you can see, we first have to submit to him and that involves getting to know Him better by studying and practicing the Word. It involves being sensitive to his spirit and discerning what His will is for us in such instance.
This one is actually a no-brainier. To flee is to run, squale, oso, gudu, sare, however you want to say it and whatever language you want to say it.
I know some folks will wonder over the connection between resistance and fleeing. Well, this scenario was played out between the author of our faith and the villain himself in Matthews gospel, chapter 4.
In a nutshell, by first submitting to God, we learn to do the things he commands and love the things he loves, which includes studying his word to make us wise, save our souls etc. Of course, what’s the point holding a sWORD if we aren’t going to use it? So, by constantly speaking the word to ourselves and immersing our soul in the pool of his Word, which is by default a wall against the devil, we are sure going to see those lustful emotions, fear, doubts and temptation go down like an ice under intense sunlight. It is simply a cause and effect thing as the victory have long been won for us, by Christ Jesus.
I hope this helps. Let’s keep the conversation going. Leave a comment/opinion for the brother in the comment section below and don’t forget to share so others can be blessed.
Grace and peace fam! 👌