This post is the fourth in a series of posts called, “A Six Point Battle Plan Against Fear.” Read the previous post here.
“So, submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Influence is a powerful thing.
We can allow the influence of others to bring out the best or worst in us. It is crucial that we, as believers, be wise and prudent with whom and what we allow to influence us. I have the privilege of working with women who are in a crisis in their lives. This can range from marital problems to problems with substance abuse.
A common denominator I see in all of their stories is the willingness to change course and do things differently if they are going to succeed. Often, this means changing what and who influences them. In every situation, I see the fingerprints of the enemy. I know that we give him far too much power and influence in our lives. It starts in feelings and rolls into our routine.
Both of my sons have now retired from the Marine Corps.
I learned from them that when the Marines go into a possible battle situation, things could go bad quickly. They are so well trained that when that time comes, they do not hit the panic button, they hit the battle plan. They do not allow the crisis to influence them; they let their training influence them. They implement the plan. If we allow the enemy to influence us, then we will live in chaos and fear. It is the implementation of Scripture that is embedded in our hearts that bring us the victory God has for us in each and every battle. There is no panic button with God. Only a battle plan.
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote incredible wisdom to the early church in the book of James.
Among this wisdom is sound advice on how not just the early church should live but us as well. In James 4:7, he tells us, “So, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” The first sentence of this wisdom says, “So, submit to God.” Our culture has so many negative emotions around the word submit. We view it as a chokehold or oppression when, in fact, it is neither. It is protection.
The Greek word for submission in this verse of Scripture is hypotassio, and it means to choose to follow, choose to obey, and willingly put yourself under the leadership of another. We are defiant to submit to God whose sold focus is our best interest. We will completely submit to the enemy who only desires our complete destruction. We can enjoy the power of the entrustment that we have in God when we can see the difference between that which is cloaked in the insidious evil and that which burns brightly for our good. With every submission on our part to God comes empowerment from that entrusted.
When we do not walk in the entrustment of submission, we allow the enemy to write the narrative of our lives.
This is not his to write, it is God’s. But who do we give the pen to? We will give the pen to either God or Satan. In the power of the entrustment of submission, we offer the pen to Christ, and he carefully and with great love will write our life’s narrative.
James continues to advise in this Scripture to resist the Devil with the promise that he will flee from us. This will require taking a firm stand of faith. It will require deciding who you will believe and how you will stand. I learned this in a particular struggle in my life. I learned how to use a shield of faith.
In Jude 1:9, the archangel Michael is debating with the Devil over the body of Moses. As I read the Scripture, I remember wondering why Michael, who stands in the very presence of God, didn’t just tell him to be gone. Michael never uses his own authority to deal with Satan. He says five very powerful words; “May the LORD rebuke you.” He uses the only power that is effective against evil, the LORD.
Michael takes the posture of a servant and gives Satan and all his tactics to God to deal with. I thought about this, and I realized that the five words of referral each correlate with a finger on our hands, thus making a shield of faith. I have used this shield frequently during times of crisis. It is a visual reminder of who I am and who’s I am. We are promised in Scripture that when we resist Satan, he will leave.
Be careful who you allow to influence you because that person or thing will write your life’s narrative. Remember, the enemy, Satan only has the power and influence that we give him.
Walk in the power of God and let him write your narrative.