September 23

You…have overcome…because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world… 1 John 4:4

Flee…youthful lusts… 2 Timothy 2:22

Resist the devil… James 4:7

These verses indicate clearly the different ways in which we must progress in our walk with God. Far too easily we fight with only one of these weapons. So we easily assume the devil is attacking us, when it is simply a question of walking away from a situation in which we are being severely tempted. These verses should comfort us with the realisation that growing in grace can never mean we will be freed from all conflict. On the contrary, growth in grace means that we learn how to handle the conflicts that arise. Overcoming the world by faith means that we are able to set right priorities, and not follow the world’s agenda. Fleeing lusts means that our normal appetites can lead us astray if indulged in, but by the Holy Spirit we have the power to walk away. We cannot lose our appetites, or we would become less than human, but we can learn to walk away from situations that stimulate desires that will threaten to overwhelm us. Resisting the devil means there are moments when we are without any blame, but are overcome with irrational feelings of guilt or depression. Those are the moments to resist and throw off such feelings and imaginations. The truth is that God is on our side to win the battles we will fight. He has accepted us in Christ and undertaken to lead us through all the conflicts, right to the final victory when we see Him face-to-face. Stand up and walk in victory each day, for it is God who has promised it to us.