Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ~James 4:7
Like the tides of the ocean, I have had times when my faith has been high and times when it’s been low and dry. Lately, let’s just say I have not felt abundant faith in my life. In searching for verses to remind me that God has a plan for me, I came across this verse from James. I have to admit, my first thought was closer to “Yeah, right…” than it was to “Oh, thank God. I can do that!”
Have you ever noticed that when you’re trying to do everything right, when you try to hand over control of your life to God, it seems like you face more temptation than ever before? Please, someone tell me I’m not alone!
I do think part of it is perception. When I’m living my own life, the way I think I want to, the temptations don’t matter to me. They morph into a twisted pleasure, a “life experience” that allows me to know I’m alive. As soon as I try to make my way back to the path I believe Christ has paved for me, I see all of the fun taking place in the fields lining the road and I wonder if I’m missing that.
I see the grove of money trees off to my left and the people plucking dollar bills from them look so happy. Why are they filling their pockets while I’m staying on this road, my pockets empty other than the little bits of dryer lint? Maybe I should go over there!
Look at that group over there, heading out to amazing parties and having a good time. This road sure seems boring!
The whole time, I’m distracted by what’s going on beside me and I’m tempted to step off the path. I can’t see the amazing party on the horizon. It’s so far in the distance that I can only see a speck of light.
In a way, I suppose the devil will flee if I can continue resisting him. If I’m walking forward on the path, he is staying behind, lifting others to the money tree and serving up drinks. Sure, there will continue to be temptations along the way, but each one I ignore is one temptation passed, one step closer to fulfilling my purpose in life.
Have you found yourself in this position? If you have, remember that God isn’t just a speck on the horizon. Along the path, He has placed reminders that you’re doing what you need to do. Will you be watching for them or are you too busy looking back at the fun you might be missing?