May 12

Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 21
     Psalms 60-61
     Isaiah 10:5-34
     James 4
''Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)
     Whether you want to believe it or not, you are a soldier engaged in a holy war. Our memory text is just a miniature presentation of that daily conflict that the child of God has with the world, the flesh, and the devil.   In this case, the reference is to the devil. He is a real personal individual who is in charge of the forces of Hell. He is called the “prince of the power of the air,” and “The god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4).
     He is also called the ''enemy'' (Matthew 13:39), the ''father of lies'' (John 8:44), the ''ruler of darkness'' (Ephesians 6:12), and the ''tempter'' (Matthew 4:3). We have a daily conflict with this Enemy. In our daily encounter with Satan, there is involved a foe, a fight, a fleeing, and a faith.
     Consider for a moment our foe. We discover his source in Ezekiel 28:11-19. We discover that he was known as Lucifer, one of the prime ministers of Heaven. He led a rebellion against God and was cast out along with one-third of all the angels which became the demons who follow Satan to this day.  We also discover his sin in Isaiah 14:12-15. We discover it was the sin of pride. He coveted God's greatness, God's goodness, and God's glory, and was cast from Heaven because of his rebellion.  He is your personal enemy.  You need to understand that Satan knows more about you than you know about yourself. The truth is, all of us are more alike than we are different, but he also knows you individually and personally - your weaknesses and your vulnerability.
     Satan is not only a personal foe, but he is a powerful foe. When you study what the Scripture says about Satan, you will discover some of his titles: our enemy is called Satan (adversary), the devil (slanderer), Abbadon (destruction), Apollyon (destroyer), Beelzabub (the lord of flies), and Lucifer (daystar or morningstar). Satan is no pushover. Though he is not infinite, omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent, he is still a powerful enemy.
  Because we have a foe, we have a fight I have discovered that, though the devil is not afraid of you, he is afraid of your big brother, Jesus. I discovered some real truth in some childhood conflicts. When I needed someone to pick on and beat up, I always looked for Butch. The problem was that he had a big brother, Dennis, who was always around to protect him. I also discovered that I was powerless in the devil's neighborhood. There was one kid who constantly beat me up every time I went to his house.  All I had to do was stay away from his house. Many believers wonder why they get beat up by the Enemy. It is because they spend too much time in the devil's neighborhood.
             But God makes us a wonderful promise in this verse. The result of this fight is a fleeing on the part of the devil. The Bible tells us, ''Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."  Satan rules a doomed domain. He knows what is ahead for him. As you confront him in the power of the Holy Spirit, the authority of the Bible, and the blood of Jesus, he will indeed flee from you.
     Then God tells us how that will happen. He speaks of a faith. The Scripture says we must not only resist the devil, but submit ourselves to God. Our warfare against Satan must be a warfare of faith and faithfulness. Remember, Jesus has already won the victory over Satan. Claim that victory today.
     One of the most interesting missionary experiences God has allowed me to have was in the Philippines, an island nation in Asia that now has more than 85 million people. I had the privilege of going to the very southern tip of Mindanao    and preaching in the jungles for more than 10 days. We saw hundreds come to Christ, many of them baptized in the ocean and the rivers and streams of that region. At night we could hear the rebels who had organized against Ferdinand Marcos, and their guns blasting in the jungle. Places that God allowed me to go were dangerous since I was the first light-skinned missionary they had had in several years. Our days and nights were packed with missionary ministry with a harvest of souls and meeting many needs of these people. What a blessing to be on the front lines for Jesus. The planting of nationals, the reviving of second generation believers and the overcoming of poverty in many of the churches are among the needs to pray for today.
  “You have gagged on a rib and turned right around and swallowed a live monkey . . . and you call that scholarship."
Dr. R.G. Lee