Sunday, June 7, 2009

On One Condition.......

How many of us parents have used that phrase with our kids? When they want to know if they can do something or have some treat, we reply, "On one condition.......that you clean your room first." Or...."On one condition......that you eat your veggies first." fill in the blank! :-)

Oh yes, any of us who are parents or teachers of children are well-familiar with that phrase.

Did you know that G-d uses conditions in dealing with us?

How often have we quoted the Scripture, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."? We quote that, claim that, and practice that, but most of us ignore, forget, or don't realize that we are omitting a major component of that instruction!

Yes, Friends.......I'm here to tell ya-----"Resist the devil and he will flee from you.....on one condition......

Let's look at James 4:7 in its entirety to discover that missing piece: "Submit yourselves therefore to G-d. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

What does it take to really submit to G-d?

Well, the verse prior to James 4:7 says this: "But He giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, G-d resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." order to submit to the L-rd, we have to humble ourselves. When we humble ourselves---put down our flesh, our pride, our self-will, stop demanding to have our own way---and really submit to G-d, then He will give us the grace to do right, to resist the devil.....and then the devil will flee from us.

Do you think the devil is going to flee just because we say so? No. He will flee when he realizes that we mean business with the L-rd: that we have died to self; that we stop being rebels; that our hearts are submitted to the will of the L-rd; that we get rid of the pride and stubbornness in our hearts. When we do that, the L-rd is good to give us the grace to be able to resist the devil.

Not in our own strength or in our own flesh, but in G-d's power. The devil knows the difference! He will flee when we stand in the power of G-d's might, as it says in Ephesians 6:10!!

You see, the armor listed in Ephesians 6:11-17 is G-d's armor----not our own!

Verse 11: "Put on the whole armor of G-d....." Verse 13: "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of G-d...." Both verses tell us that putting on G-d's armor---His whole armor--- enables us to stand. We cannot stand---we cannot resist the devil---without G-d's whole armor on!

There is nothing having to do with our flesh: our talents, good looks, polished manners, clever thinking, IQ, etc. that will enable us to win that spiritual battle!

But did you know.....before we can put on G-d's armor, we have to take some things off!?

Romans 13:12 instructs us, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light."

Ephesians 4:22, 23 commands, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after G-d is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Colossians 3:8-10 also commands us to ".....put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him;"

Colossians 3:12-15 continues in this same vein: "Put on therefore, as the elect of G-d, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forebearing one another, and forgiving one another.......And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."

Submitting to G-d is the act of putting off the old man----the flesh, with the sins of the flesh---and putting on the new man.

Doing that is an act of our will.

It's a choice.

It requires, first, a decision of our heart, then the action of our will.

When we do that, the L-rd sees that we mean business.......and the enemy does too!

Once we have put off the filthy rags of our old man, then we can put on G-d's armor, and stand, having done all to stand, in resisting the devil. And he will flee from us!

Our walk has to match our talk. We can know all the right things to say; we can even mean well. We can fool ourselves, and maybe even fool others; but we can't fool the L-rd and we can't fool the enemy.

We need to remember that!

In the end, it's humbling ourselves before G-d, truly submitting to Him in putting off our old man and our wicked, willful flesh so that we can put on G-d's whole armor that will help us win the victory.

Yes---on that one condition----we can resist the devil and he will flee from us!

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