September 21, 2009

Resist the Devil

1 Peter 5:6-11

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7


A story is told about Martin Luther who, in his study one day, threw an inkwell at Satan and told him to get out of the room. To Luther, Satan was not just some imaginary being but a constant presence in his life, always trying to draw him away from God and rob him of his peace.

According to the Bible, Satan is alive and well, constantly trying to trip us up. Throwing an object at him may not be the best way to resist him, but we do need to take him seriously. Says Peter, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Satan wants to have us, and he will use every trick he can think of to try to make us untrue to God. And the closer we live to the Lord, the harder Satan will attack. He comes to us when we are weak. He comes to us when we are down. And he tries to take us away from God.

In the words of James, we have to “resist the devil.” But to resist Satan we have to first acknowledge that he is real. We have to realize that he wants to destroy us.

We also have to know our own weaknesses when it comes to resisting Satan. Every day we need to pray as Christ taught us: “Lead us not into temptation [that is, strengthen us from being tempted by our own desires], but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13).

Holy Spirit, please give us power to resist the attacks of the devil. Strengthen us to resist temptations. “Deliver us from the evil one” as he tries to destroy us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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