James 4: 7 teaches us to resist the devil and he will flee from us. Many churches today do not teach much about that old serpent, Lucifer. Others deny that devils even exist.
Two questions come to my seeking mind:
First, how is a young believer supposed to resist the devil if he doesn't even know there is one?
Second, how can he resist if he doesn't know what comes from the devil and what comes from God?
Will he find himself accepting something bad such as disease or oppression and assuming it is from God? Does he have the authority to resist an illness?
Most of us know that we must resist blatant sin (the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life). That answer seems so obvious. However when you get into the area of what I call excuse-theology, the water gets muddy.
People hear teaching such as God must be teaching you something through this challenge, financial loss, illness, premature death of a loved one, etc.
Certainly the trials of our faith work patience in us. Yet, if we think bad things come from God, how are we supposed to resist the devil?
Jesus plainly says that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That includes much more than just wrong behavior. If it's bad, it's from the devil.
James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.
Jesus came to give life and that more abundantly. If it's good it's from above.
In my next post, we'll talking about submitting to God (to His perfect will) and resisting the devil.