Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What does it mean to resist?

Last night and this morning have been times of great revelation for me. Once again, I was plagued in the night with an inability to sleep. I woke up at about 3:00AM full of worries about work and finances. After a long while of struggling against it with prayer and attempts to go back to sleep, I remembered the story from the book of Revelation about the Angel Michael rebuking the devil by saying, “The Lord rebuke you.”

I was at a point of desperation, so I lay there in bed and called every demon who was pestering me by name; “The demon of worry”, “The demon of lack of sleep”, “The demon of faithlessness”, and so on. Once I had named them I said, “The Lord rebuke you all. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and King whose name is above all names I rebuke you and demand that you leave me alone.” At that very moment my entire body began to tingle in the way that your foot feels when it has “fallen asleep.” Suddenly, the pressure was gone, I was no longer being beaten down and I went back to sleep.

It was later in the morning during my prayer walk that the spirit revealed a lesson from this experience. James 4:6-7 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." I used to resist by gritting my teeth and muscling my way through. But, this is not resistance; it is the prideful taking of a beating while gritting one's teeth and saying, “I can take it!” God opposes this, which is why it never works.

True resistance is accomplished by humbly accepting the fact that I am too weak to fight the devil or even survive his mildest attack. It is accomplished by running to Christ and bringing him into the battle, just as the Archangel Michael did (Jude 9). It was instructive for me to remember that Michael had faced the devil before and defeated him (Rev 12:7-9). Yet, even knowing that he had defeated the devil before, Michael was humble when he faced him again over the body of Moses and called upon the name of the Lord. Michael set a great example for me. My only chance of resistance is to run to Jesus and call upon His name. He is the only one who can win, and He will!

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