We have given the sin to God and repented. Yet, we still feel helpless. We wonder if God is truly moving on our behalf. Why do we feel so hopeless? Does the devil still claim territory that should be ours?
A lot of people quote, “Resist the devil and he will flee.” Go into the enemy’s camp and take back what is ours. But HOW do we do that? What does that really mean?
I wanted to know these very things, and God, in His kindness, showed me a lot. Today’s post essentially sets you up to be able to put on the armor of God and enter the enemy’s camp.
Have you TRULY repented?
Many people THINK they have repented and yet still continually do the same sins over and over again.
You have NOT REPENTED if you keep doing the same sin!
Asking for forgiveness and repenting are two different things.
(NIV) James 4:08, “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
(NLT) James 4:09-10, “Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.”
If you have someone in your life who keeps lying to you and yet seeks forgiveness after every lie, is this person growing? No. Do you feel more intimate with this person because of the lying? No.
As scripture says, we need to be remorseful (truly sorry) for what we have done. We need to ask and seek the Lord, not just casually say, “Forgive me, Lord.” Words are just words until our actions prove what we say. Are we sorry to the Lord for sinning or are we sorry He’s against what we do? Are we seeking forgiveness for ourselves or because we love Him?
Not repenting of sin stops intimacy with the Lord! We cannot grow if we keep doing the same things! If we are not repenting, turning away from sin completely, there is NO WAY we can take back the territory from Satan. We have given him a foothold!
(NIV) Romans 6:06, “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–“
If we are sinning and exposing ourselves to sin, we are a slave to the flesh. We serve sin, and to Satan, we have become a son of.
(NLT) 1 John 3:08, “But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning.”
How Do We Resist When Satan Rules Over Us
There is hope in Jesus Christ!
(NIV) James 4:07, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
(NIV) 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
In my own life, some of the deepest and conflicting sins I struggled with were not fully repented of until I had learned and desired to spend time just with the Lord. I couldn’t give up those sins until I denied my flesh daily.
God will do many things for us, but we have the opportunity to choose if we actually want to spend time with Him, follow Him, praise Him, learn from Him, and show His light to others.
Humbling ourselves means to deny ourselves. It means we might even have to silence ourselves. We have to actively work on denying our flesh.
(NLT) Ephesians 4:22, “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.”
It’s helpful to understand that we all start off as sinners.
(NIV) Titus 3:03, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.”
God wants us to be cleansed and we do this first through accepting Jesus Christ and the salvation He gives us. It is important to note that many people think they have accepted Him but they haven’t: Salvation’s Recipe | How To Receive Christ Into Your “Heart”
If you have truly desired to follow Christ then you should desire to know Him. If you do not desire to draw close to Jesus, you may not have accepted Christ as your Savior, or you may have decided to back away and serve the flesh entirely. Whenever we do this, we make things very easy for Satan.
(NIV) Psalm 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word.” *afflicted is another word meaning “made humble.”
(NIV) Galatians 5:24, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Denying the flesh also gives us opportunities to honor the Lord and give Him glory.
Some Examples Of Denying The Flesh:
- Give up the lust of the eyes, ears, thoughts, etc. Media that encourages sin is a struggle for many.
- Deny pleasure like sleeping in or serving self first before we do things for God and for others. (We make ourselves an idol) GUILTY!
- Be willing to say no to people if they are encouraging you to do things against Jesus even if it makes you stand out. Be aware of your influences! You may lose friends and maybe family, but do you want to lose Jesus?
God exalts the humbled. (Luke 14:11, 1 Peter 5:06) While we were once sons and daughters of darkness, through Jesus, we become His own. Denying the flesh helps humble us, and it helps us spend more time with Him.
Ways To Draw Closer To God:
- Worship (Post: How To Worship Without Music)
- Reading scripture (Post: How To Meditate On Scripture)
- Look for His presence in your life
- Keep a journal between you and Him. Write down prayers, thoughts, questions, scriptures, whatever. Share when you see Him doing things in your life or pressing things on your heart.
(NIV) 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
(NIV) 2 Chronicles 7:15, “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
(NIV) Galatians 3:26, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”
It is only in Christ we can be humbled. Only in Christ can we truly repent of sins. It is important we understand what our walk with Jesus is, or if we even have one. We need to spend more time with Him. We need to focus on Him MORE than the sin in our lives. All of these things are needed BEFORE we can enter the enemy’s camp. If we are not strong in Jesus, we cannot resist the devil.
Next week I’ll share the rest of this post and dive into the scripture about resisting the devil, what that actually means, and how the armor of God is CRUCIAL.
What are things you’ve done with the Lord that help you resist the devil?
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) 1 Peter 4:18, “And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
Community Prayer Requests | October– Join us in requesting prayer, praying for each other and lifting each other up.
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath