12/4 James 4:7-8

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

If there is a formula for resisting the destructive power of evil, this is it. We begin by submitting yourselves to God. That means to surrender our hearts to God. We let go of our desires and make a conscious choice to let Him lead us. When we realize His will is the best thing for us, we should choose to obey.

The next step is resisting the devil. That is what Eve failed to do in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-7). When the devil called God a liar, she should have told the devil that he is a liar and walked away. We best resist Satan when we employ the Word of God. Jesus showed us how to do that when He was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-10). Reminding ourselves of the truth of God's Word diminishes the temptation at hand. Sometimes resistance is simply refusing to listen to the seduction of evil.

Once we have resisted the devil, we draw near to God. You can't resist for long before we find we are being renewed in the Lord's strength. When we draw near to God we are reminded of the greatness of His love and the reason that we shun temptation. Our conviction to submit to God is refreshed when we experience His presence in prayer. And finally, we repent of any sin in our lives and of any desire that is outside of God's will. Temptation is most powerful when our hearts are divided between God and some temporal promise of pleasure.

Prayer: Lord, help my mind and heart to realize Your great love for me so that I might joyfully submit to You.