Do You Know That Self-Control Is A Part Of Resisting The Devil?
Resisting, as used in this article, is a reference to fighting against satanic influence. In our text (i.e., I Pet. 5:8-11), Peter first of all urges his readers to resist the devil. And then he haves them to know that God will restore them, after they have suffered a little while.
We don’t spend much time talking about fighting agaisnt the devil. And every now and then we need to remind ourselves that we all must suffer, but we have some hope also. In this devotional series, I want to suggest that we should work on resisting and suffering with hope.
In this particular devotional, let’s focus on resisting. As big and as bad as the devil may be, we are not helpless. We must not allow him to simply have his way with us. Nor should we simply pray for God to make the devil leave us along. Our text urges us to fight against him.
Notice the four ideas included in fighting agaisnt the devil. We are to be self-controlled, alert, stand firm in our faith, and be aware that others are suffering the same thing that we are suffering.
Self-control simply means to master one’s actions and emotions, especially one’s sensual appetite. If we are going to resist the devil, we must control our selves, which is a part of the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23).
Otherwise, the devil will find what we desire and tempt us with it. And as we chase after our desires, similar to how a mouse chases after the cheese in the mousetrap, we will find ourselves getting closer and closer to our demise and suffering.
All of us have some strong and weak areas of control. Some are strong in saying “no” to smoking and getting drunk, but are weak in being faithful to their spouses or celibate as singles.
Some are strong in coming to church but weak in paying their tithes after they get to church. Some are strong in doing church work but weak in doing community work.
If we are going to resist the devil, we would do well to assess our strengths and weaknesses and then seek to hold on to our strengths, while developing more strength for our weaknesses.
Until we get more strength in our weak areas, we ought to be very careful in our weak areas. If you know that getting drunk is a weak area, don’t go to bar with your buddies and have a beer or two.
If you know that sex in your weak area then you ought to exercise extra caution when you are around people whom you are attracted to or who are attracted to you.
If you know that spending money is your weak area then you ought to learn how to leave your credit card, debit card, checkbook, and extra cash at home, when you go to the mall (smile).
If eating is your weak area then you ought not to buy ice cream, cake, and pies, when you buy groceries. Protect your weak areas like a boxer who has a cut over his eye (how is that for an image – smile).
And keep working to get stronger in your weak spots. Prayerfully study and obey God’s Word with the support of other believers, so you can grow in spiritual strength.
1. On a scale of one to five, with five being high, how well are you doing with self-control?
2. What are you going to do to improve in this area, within the next week?
Great and awesome God, I praise You for being a God who is more powerful than any satanic influence that I will ever encounter. I thank You for Your marvelous plan for Your people. I thank You for saving me and allowing me to be numbered among Your people.
I confess that I have not exercised self-control like I should have. I have put myself in situations that I knew that I was too weak to handle. And I have not given enough effort to growing in my areas of weakness. Please forgive me for these and my many other sins, in the name of Jesus.
Please help me to live a more self-controlled life, as a way of resisting the devil. Thank You, in the name of Your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Please complete the form below.
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