“Overcoming The Devil!”


“Overcoming The Devil!”(Jam.4:1-10).
It is common to hear this: “I’m sorry. It was/is the work of the devil.” When do you take responsibility for your action without shifting the blame to the devil? This is the old familiar rehashing from Eve, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” That’s not true and has never been true. It is true that the serpent sweet-talked her, but the decision to eat was from within her. She was the one who “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom.” She was the one who “took some and ate it.”
The devil tempts, but the decision to act is personal. We may be externally induced, but we are always internally decisive. James says our fights and quarels come from the desires that battle within us. When we do not get what we want, we quarrel and fight. We do not have because we do not ask God, possibly because our motives are wrong.
Worldliness is friendship with the world which is hatred toward God. God’s spirit in us is envious.
God wants us, and we can be his only when we submit to him. God’s grace is dispensed freely to the humble.
James proposes ten commands calling for immediate action if one must root out the sinful attitude of pride:

  1. Submit yourselves to God.
  2. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
  3. Come near to God, and he will come near to you.
  4. Wash your hands, you sinners.
  5. Purify your hearts, you double-minded.
  6. Grieve,
  7. Mourn
  8. Wail
  9. Change your laughter to mourning and joy to gloom.
  10. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
    Each of the action leads to a positive response from God.
    Bottom line being that the devil comes as close only in so far as we allow him to. Therefore, stop saying, “It was/is the work of the devil; because you are responsible for your action!”
    Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit help me to engage these ten actions for Lenten penitence and beyond. Amen!
    Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
    Rev Babila Fochang.


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