I heard the other day that “the devil doesn’t play by the rules” and I was surprised to realize that I didn’t already live with that understanding. I have been living like a sucker, not realizing that of course he (satan) doesn’t play fair! Because of my poor choices in earlier years, I have always been quick to blame myself for the sinful choices or painful thought patterns in my life and would rarely give thought to being tempted by satan. Now as I am growing in godliness, I realize his attempts to influence me and my choices. I can say that I understand James’ admonishment in the 4th chapter to resist the devil! When he flees I enjoy freedom through Jesus Christ!
So where is all this going (I’m wondering)…Here’s the thing, all through the New Testiment I see “resist the devil,” “don’t give place for the devil,” “your enemy the devil prowls,” and “give no opportunity to the devil.” All of these should have helped me see what the first quote says “he doesn’t play by the rules”! When I choose to let down my guard, when I debate with him instead of resist him, when I listen to his influence because I am weak – I assume that if I do give into the devil that he will treat me fairly! For instance with Eve, he said “you will not surely die!”
Spiritual death or spiritual life. If I choose to follow the Holy Spirit with everything that I am, I live. If I choose to believe a lie, I die. Right here and right now – I am either spiritually alive or dead. I can’t risk my spiritual life by playing with someone who doesn’t play by the rules.
Thanks for reading.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rulesd of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
Psalm 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.
Psalm 119:14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.
Psalm 119:128 Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way.
1 Peter 5:6-10
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Words & Music: J. Bruce Evans, 1906 (MIDI, score).
Just when I am disheartened,
Just when with cares oppressed,
Just when my way is darkest,
Just when I am distressed—
Then is my Savior near me,
He knows my every care;
Jesus will never leave me,
He helps my burdens bear.
His grace is enough for me, for me,
His grace is enough for me;
Through sorrow and pain,
Through loss or gain,
His grace is enough for me.
Just when my hopes are vanished,
Just when my friends forsake,
Just when the fight is thickest,
Just when with fear I shake—
Then comes a still small whisper:
“Fear not, My child, I’m near.”
Jesus brings peace and comfort,
I love His voice to hear.
Just when my tears are flowing,
Just when with anguish bent,
Just when temptation’s hardest,
Just when with sadness rent—
Then comes a thought of comfort:
“I know my Father knows.”
Jesus has grace sufficient
To conquer all my foes.