April 25 – Avoid Deception

“Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” – 1 John 3:7-8 (NASB)

Recalling the promise from yesterday’s verse helps us understand today’s verse and why we are instructed to submit and resist. It is a persistent goal of the devil to deceive, especially those who are in Christ. If we don’t submit to God and if we don’t resist the devil we are actually practicing the devil’s ways. There are no multiple ways to multiple gods. Only one God and only one way to Him. We are instructed to practice righteousness as Christ, who is righteous, dwells within each true believer. If we fall for the deception of Satan and give in to the temptations he presents then our way of our life is the practice of sin. Christ has chosen us⸺he has provided the gifts of faith, and grace, for salvation⸺we should believe in the purpose Christ came to earth. He came to destroy the effects of the devil’s work. In His death on the cross, Christ struck the decisive blow to destroy the works of Satan. Christ’s resurrection from the dead secured for us the victory. One day, Satan’s time of conditional limited freedom will be over – that is a promise. (Revelation 20:10)


April 24 – When Freedom Is Not

“ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7 (ESV)

We find in the Bible promises that are within instructions. We have such a promise in our verse today. We have two commands, two actions we are instructed to do. The first is Submit and the second is Resist. Working together obeying these instructions has a promise. But instead, many times we Resist Submission. Submitting is contrary to our concept of “free will.” The word “submit” here is a military term “to be subordinated” or “to render obedience.” Submitting is required in many circumstances. Resistance fits more comfortably with our concept of freedom, but here’s a problem, that’s not freedom. When we resist God we are submitting to the way is the devil wants us to behave. Of course that’s backwards from what we are instructed. We’ll never see the promised results of running the devil off if that is the way we live. What we really want, and need is freedom from sin and the devil. That comes when we submit to God and resist the devil. The devil cannot overpower God power in our lives. Submit to God, Resist the devil, We must do this with consistency, over and over. The victory of Christ becomes more precious.