Summary: How do we resist? I want to make what we talk about today make sense, but I also want it to be visual. We can resist the devil by building a wall in our lives that resists all of his advances towards us. We will build a wall to keep Satan out of our hearts and we will make Satan pay for it.
MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK SERIES
[This is an object lesson sermon where the minister builds a wall out of boxes in an effort to visually show how to resist the devil by building a wall to resist the devil. Each box has a word on it showing what makes up resisting the devil. You will need 8 large boxes.]
READ James 4:7-10
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Whenever I read this part of James 4, the sentence: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” always jumps out. I don’t know about you, but I want to resist the devil. I do not want my life ruled by Satan and I don’t even want him to have a foothold in my life. I want to resist the lies that he tells that draw me away from God. I want to resist the temptation to feel guilty about sins that have already been forgiven. I want to ignore the accusations he brings into my heart that I am a failure and I’m not good enough.
Lies. Lying is Satan’s native language and all that he speaks.
Temptations. Temptation is what the devil does for thrills.
Accusations. Accusations are what Satan does to fulfill his purpose.
So how do we do that? How do we resist? I want to make what we talk about today make sense, but I also want it to be visual. We can resist the devil by building a wall in our lives that resists all of his advances towards us. We will build a wall to keep Satan out of our hearts and we will make Satan pay for it.
James has some ideas in these verses and then as I did some thinking and praying over “resisting the devil” in the Scriptures and we have other passages that teach us how to resist the devil. So how do we do it? How do we resist the devil and make him flee from us?
WALL BRICK 1: GO NEAR TO GOD (verse 8)
[take out first box with “Go near to God” printed on it and place it down]
The first part of James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
It is a miracle from God that the Almighty God of the Universe is also a personal God. He wants us to know Him. He wants us to draw close to Him in our spirits. Deuteronomy 4:7 reflects, “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to Him?” The Psalmist Asaph writes in Psalm 73:28, “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge.” Hebrews 10:22-23 tells us, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”
How can we go near to God? I believe we can do so by praying in faith and hope that God would be our refuge. I get that from Deuteronomy and Psalm and Hebrews. When we pray, we are communicating with the God of the Universe Who is our Father in Heaven who loves us with an everlasting love. Prayer more than anything else brings our souls into contact with God Almighty. He has set it up that way… we pray to God the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
When we are near to God in prayer, we are resisting the devil and he will flee from us.
WALL BRICK 2: PURIFY YOUR HEART (verse 8)
[take out second box with “Purify Your Heart” printed on it and place it down]
The second part of James 4:8 says, “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
James talks about purity. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy, “Keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22) and commands the Philippians to think about “whatever is pure” (Philippians 4:8). Paul also warns the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 11:3) to not “be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” The Apostle John talks about purity by saying (1 John 3:3): “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” Jesus Christ says (Matthew 5:8): “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”