Matthew 4:1-11; James 4:1-10; 1 Peter 5:6-8
The Bible clearly says: “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.” I certainly would welcome the sight of putting Satan on the run! Too often I believe that we are ignorant of the devil’s schemes and thus become a victim of the roaring lion. Then we slink away in shame and defeat.
To me, what is set forth in by both James and Peter is best seen in Jesus when He was tempted in the Wilderness. In both passages we are told that Humbling ourselves to God gives us the strength to Stand against the devil. Our posture of humility with God gives us the posture of confidence with satan. Jesus sets this supreme example in His handling of satan in the wilderness. Jesus was submitted to His Father’s will and timing the entire ordeal. In fact, the very first verse says that He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. His Tempting was the Father’s will so that Jesus would be “… able to save to the uttermost those who are now tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).
Jesus commands satan at the end of His tempting, “Go, Satan! …then the devil left Him and behold angels came and ministered to Him.” I want that too! SO how did Jesus do it? What is necessary to RESIST the devil?
Jesus resisted the devil so that then He said, “Go, devil” and the devil left…until a more opportune time (Luke4:13).
We can resist the devil when we are submitted to God. We can stand against the ruler of this world when we have bowed to our Sovereign. We can dialogue with the devil when we know what God really says! And then we too can command him to leave.
Last night I got home from a week’s vacation. As I walked in the kitchen, I noticed a stale, sour odor but did not really think too much of it because I figured it was a week’s worth of pent-up Summer air. I could just air out the house plus spray my Febreze Unstoppables that lasts up to six hours (really quite some amazing stuff).
BUT this morning I was putting a few things away and opened the cabinet under the kitchen sink — rotten potatoes! Rotten potatoes have the worst smell; they actually smell like something died.
I gingerly picked up the bag, sealed it in another trash bag and put it in the Trash. BUT not the inside trash, the trash that immediately goes to the Outside trash! I then sprayed chlorox on the spot, aired out the cabinet and kitchen, and sprayed my Febreze Unstoppable six-hour spray. It was NOT enough to air it out—it would only linger and get stronger. It was NOT enough to spray Febreze—that would only mask the source that was going to outlast the six-hours. It was NOT enough to put it in the Trash—it needed to be in the outside trash. You have to be rid of the Source of the Stink!
I am struck with the thought that Jesus takes out the Trash of my life. I take inadequate measures hoping nobody will notice the stink:
Jesus takes out My Trash. If you read the passages, Jesus became the Scapegoat of our Sin and suffered outside the City because He not only took out the Trash—He BECAME Trash (Sin) in my place and then took it out-- Outside. I am humbled by the realization that my best efforts can only mask the Source while it gets steadily worse and ripens to the point of an overpowering stink in my life and character. Jesus is the One who became a stench in my place so that the pleasing Aroma of His Sacrifice would make me a pleasing Aroma as well.
So why you still wrestling the “garbage man” to hold onto your Stink??
Thank you, Jesus, for taking out my Trash.
Pastor Stephen Willoughby
Pastor Steve grew up in Columbia,South America, where his parents served as missionaries for 25 years. After graduating from Capital Bible Seminary, he was invited to serve as Assistant Pastor at FBCP. He has served in that capacity for twenty years before taking on the position of Senior Pastor.