GOD PROMISES HIS NEARNESS
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:6-8
Wouldn’t it be great if God promised a sure-fire way to have victory over Satan and demons? Well, He does! We have been talking about Bible promises we need to use in our spiritual warfare. James 4:6-8 contains wonderful promises that Satan will flee from us and God will come near us. However, there are some conditions to be met for this to happen.
Condition 1: be humble, not proud. Satan’s fall was because of his pride and he uses pride as a tool to control many people today. Ask God to show you of there is any pride in you. Ask a trusted mate or friend to tell you when they see you acting prideful. When they are honest with you, don’t react with defensiveness, explanations or justification. Humbly learn from them. You don’t want to be proud, do you? No one does. It’s an easy sin to see in others but very hard to see in ourselves. Yet if we want Satan to flee and to be close to God, we cannot be proud.
Condition 2: submit yourself to God. Trust Him with your life and future. Yield to His will. Obey His Word. Model your life after Jesus. Submission is first of all an attitude and then an action. To have victory over Satan you must first willingly submit 100% to God’s leadership and lordship in your life.
Condition 3: resist the devil. This is a continual attitude of refusing his thoughts and turning from his temptations. ‘Resist’ is an active word and speaks of courage and forcefulness. It is something we must do nonstop, not just once in a while. We need to have a warrior attitude, seeing sin as an enemy to defeat whenever it comes near us.
Condition 4: come near to God. This starts in our mind and heart when we commit to follow His truth. It is then seen in our actions of prayer, worship, Bible study and faithful living. We keep our minds set on God alone (Romans 12:1-2) and that will then be seen in our actions.
Condition 5: wash your hand and purify your hearts. This means we cannot have sin in our life. Our actions and thoughts must all be holy and pleasing to God. What we do must be done to serve Him and not for selfish reasons. When we sin, we must admit it and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9). We can’t dabble with sin, even just hang around near it, or Satan won’t flee and we won’t be near God.
OK, now comes the good part – the promises when we do commit to God and live for Him.
Promise 1: Satan will flee. Satan lies and says he won’t ever leave us, we’ll never be free of him, following God won’t work, God doesn’t want us, etc. He tries to instill fear and discouragement in us, because they open the door for his demons to gain a foothold and work in our lives. But God promises that Satan WILL flee. Who are you going to believe?
Sometimes our victory is instant, but other times it is gradual. When Joshua conquered the Promised Land, it was little by little, battle by battle. It was gradual. Win this land, settle and populate it, then move ahead to take back more land. Our victories are often like that: gain some ground over Satan, grow and become strong in those areas, then move into another area to gain more ground back as well. Be patient. A good warrior must patiently persevere. Satan is good at that. We must be better.
Promise 2: God will come near. When Satan’s demons lose ground, God claims and fills that place. God promises that when we turn to Him and strive to live for Him that he WILL come near to us. He doesn’t sit back and wait for us to get it all right and live a perfect life. As soon as we make the first step to Him, He rushes to our side to be with us and help us. It doesn’t matter if we “feel” like He is with us or not. He says He is and He never lies, so He is. Trust His promise, not your feelings.
Promise 3: God gives us more than enough grace. When we take the first step He is there helping and assisting. It’s all by His grace, not by anything we do to earn or deserve it. It’s grace alone.
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He met these conditions (Matthew 4:1-11). As a result, Satan fled and God was with Him. It worked for others. It’ll work for you as well. Try it and see.
This is a longer promise to memorize but well worth it. Which of these conditions are most difficult for you to meet? Which part of the promise do you need most right now?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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