I find it very important to write this as I meditate on the word “resist”. I had for a while been under the influence of a thought that could mar my life, rather than just let it out and be free, I struggled to convince myself it won’t hurt nor harm me. I struggled not to act based on that thought yet I seem to love the prospect of carrying out such action without properly analysing the consequence of such act.
At a point in time, I had to tell myself to stay focused on doing the right thing even when if I did the otherwise, I might not be noticed or caught. As I continuously told myself to steer clear of the tempting offer of the devil, the word popped up in my mind. “Resist the devil….” And I immediately realised resisting the devil isn’t a passive action, it is a deliberate intentional activity to stop the advancement of the devil.
Often times, we like to stay passive in our attempt to resist the devil, perhaps we fear that such action will embarrass us and will also embarrass the vessel employed by our arch enemy, but I make bold to say, if we don’t embarrass the devil, we will embrace his ways and at the end, we will be an embarrassment to ourselves and the people around us. Jesus didn’t mince words when He yelled at Peter, “get thee behind me you Satan”. Peter? The Satan? No, I don’t think so. But he had yielded himself a vessel upon which the voice of the devil could freely ride on and Jesus was quick to spot that.
Hmmm! How often are we sensitive to the ever increasing, persistent but subtle temptations of the devil, luring our hearts unto disobedience. We seem to enjoy the options available to us or the prospect of our outright involvement in the act of insubordination to God and to ourselves. Alas, it doesn’t look it. Eve didn’t believe just yielding to the tempting offer of just eating a fruit although previously aware of God’s instruction forbidding them to eat could mean disobedience and then death even when the present offer was for them to be as gods in first the opening of the eyes and then the ability to know good and evil.
Esau never saw anything wrong in the cheap exchange of his birthright for a morsel of food. He was however described in the New Testament as a “fornicator”. Who would have thought that an hungry man who was at the verge of death, desiring to save himself from hunger and death would be described as a fornicator? One would ask, what’s the connecting point between fornication and the seeming innocuous act? Truth is, it doesn’t always seem like it is. It is always veiled in the cloths of opportunity but deep down, they are death traps.
Balaam was faced with the option of becoming rich and famous if only he can lay a curse of the people of God. Even when God had warned him in vision many times not to go, let alone speak a word, he chose to proceed with the prospect of benefitting from the offer. At some point, God wanted to kill him but by mercy first gave him a sign by letting his donkey speak words like man, yet Balaam would not decline the offer. He was described as one who loved the wages of unrighteousness in the New Testament. Never would he have realised he was building a reputation and a way of life for himself by not resisting the mouth watering offer. He had developed a doctrine by which God addressed a church in Revelation through his error and love for a reward.
Many times, the voice of temptation seemingly overwhelms the voice and call to righteousness and holiness. Therefore, I sought an active way to resist the devil. Do I yell at the devil? Do I pray in the Spirit? What would I do? But I concluded this is wisdom, “flee all appearance of evil….” Whilst I look for the best possible way to resist the devil such that he will flee, I need myself to learn the act of fleeing all appearances of evil before I get caught in the entanglement that is the world through its corruption.
Mind you, I have written this piece as a tool to save me from the thoughts that would have eaten up my integrity and right standing with God. I could have hidden under the notion God is merciful and forgiving like many people would and maybe at previous times have, but I choose to resist the devil. Really, he fled. Hallelujah! He has left for a season. Well, it’s just for a season, you and I must be ready always to resist him anytime he shows up again.
Good news, I am more than conqueror. You are too.