Resist the devil, and he will flee from you—Jas. 4: 7.
If we are positive in our rejection of temptation, it increases our strength of character, not only for that time but also for subsequent temptations; and it disconcerts to some extent our Adversary, who, noting our positiveness, knows well that it is useless to discuss the matter with persons of strong convictions and positive characters; whereas if the question were parleyed over, the result would surely be an advancing of further reasons and arguments on the Adversary's part, and a danger on our part that we would be overmatched in argument, for, as the Apostle declares, the devil is a wily adversary, and "we are not ignorant of his devices." Prompt and positive obedience to the Word and Spirit of the Lord is the only safe course for any of the "brethren".
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Satan acts not only defensively but also offensively against us. His offensive is cunning, sudden, sharp and persistent. It behooves us to repel him vigorously. We should repulse him by watchfulness, prayer, faith in our equipment, hope for victory, love for defeating him, persistent determination to gain victory, exertion against him, detaching our affections from evil, evasion of evil, diversion of attention from evil, displacement of evil by the opposite good, restraint of evil by other than the opposite good and by presentation of an impenetrable heart and mind to Satan's attacks. Such resistance steadfastly maintained, will defeat and put him to disastrous flight.
Parallel passages: 1Pet. 5: 8, 9; Eph. 4: 27; 6: 10-13; Matt. 4: 1-11; 1Chron. 21: 1; Job 1: 6-12; 2: 3-7; Zech. 3: 1, 2; Matt. 13: 19, 38, 39; Luke 22: 31; John 8: 38, 41, 44; 12: 31; 13: 2, 27; Rom. 16: 20; 2Cor. 2: 11; 4: 4; 11: 3, 14, 15; 1John 3: 8, 10, 12; 5: 18.
Questions: Have I this week resisted the devil? How? What was helpful or hindersome therein? What were the results?
YET nerve thy spirit to the proof,
And blanch not at thy chosen lot.
The timid good may stand aloof,
The sage may frown—yet faint thou not.
Nor heed the shaft so surely cast,
The foul and hissing bolt of scorn;
For with thy side shall dwell at last
The victory of endurance born.
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