“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 ESV
Why does the Bible have to go and make it sound so easy? I know plenty of Christians who struggle with letting God rule their lives. Let’s be real for a moment; The Devil is quite the adversary, but Jesus showed us a way to fend him off! What is it that Christians often miss when they find themselves battling with sin? I’ve recently posted an article about responding to temptation, but can simply reciting a verse solve all of our problems? My answer is simply yes and no.
God’s word is very powerful. It provides a moral high ground that no one in history has been able to improve upon. What better way is there to treat someone than to treat them as they would want to be treated? Many politicians have made careers out of convincing voters that they love everyone equally, including their enemies; which is a teaching that came straight from Jesus, Himself. Is there really any better way to avoid conflict than just simply turning the other cheek and accepting that sinful people will sometimes abuse those who are filled with God’s love? The passages of the Bible have everything we need to live holy lives, and therefore the verses of scripture can indeed be all we need to know to combat temptation and sin.
However, knowledge alone does not solve a problem. If I have knowledge that my car needs fuel to keep driving but I do not attempt to get any gasoline, my knowledge has done nothing to solve the problem I am facing. Defeating sin is no different. In fact, I know some men and women who know the Word of God, but they do not want to submit themselves to everything that The Bible instructs. The difference between the way Jesus conquered temptation and the way mankind typically falls to it, is that Jesus stood on what He knew was true, and we often times do not.
In our current times, disagreements occur within a body of believers as much as anywhere else. This makes sense as Christians still battle with the flesh. However, what does not happen most of the time is an attempt to go to the one who has offended or been offended and get right with each other. Instead, both sides will find other believers to side with them regarding that particular dispute. The result is a faction within the Church which is clearly not something God wants from His people. (Galatians 5:20) All it would take to avoid the creation of factions and to resolve the original dispute would be willingly submitting to the practices found in Matthew 18. In short, drawn out disputes in the church could be avoided if we would simply submit our will to the teachings God offered to us through the Bible.
This particular example may not seem that personal to you, but the Bible has teachings on lust, idol worship, discord, jealousy, selfishness, drunkenness, and even causing another to sin. The sin that you fall to on a consistent basis has a solution that can be found in God’s word. That solution may even be found in a passage from the Bible that you already know. What it is that Christians often miss while battling our sin, is that knowledge will never substitute for submission to God’s truth. If you do not submit yourself to the truth found in God’s word, how can you expect to find the devil and his temptations fleeing from your life? While it can be difficult, the truth is that winning the battle against sin requires us to make every effort to submit our lives to Christ!
Written by Timothy Hegerich. Edited by Caroline Hegerich.
There is truth in our world, and it lies within the word of the One who created the world. It is my prayer that my thoughts and writings echo this truth and inspire you to seek it for your life today!