Can we resist evil without first (James 4:7) submitting to God?
I heard someone say that casinos were of the devil. It got me to thinking. I’ve heard people refer to Las Vegas as sin city. People stay out of certain areas because of it’s reputation for evil living e.g. crime, drugs, prostitution, gangs. We live surrounded by dens of wickedness. We live in cities that cater to every evil desire of man. Why do we have a drug problem? Why do we have a problem with human trafficking? Why? Why? Why? Because of the simple law of supply and demand. The economy of sin. Satisfying human desires is a booming multi-billion dollar business. And guess what folks? We are all consumers. We all contribute to this economy. And as Bible believing Christians we also know, or should know the root of the problem is more than just supply and demand.
What Is the Law of Supply and Demand?
The law of supply and demand is a theory that explains the interaction between the sellers of a resource and the buyers for that resource. The theory defines how the relationship between the availability of a particular product and the desire (or demand) for that product has on its price. Generally, low supply and high demand increase price and vice versa.
John 17:14-16 – I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
James 1:13 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
John 2: 23-25 – Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind…
1 Peter 2:11-12 – Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 John 5:19 – We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
John 15:19 – If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
I Corinthians 5:9-12 – I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
The question I asked myself, was – can man truly avoid such dens of wickedness without first surrendering to God, to the Spirit of God that should be living in us and through us, because if we were thus surrendered – we would not have an inkling of attraction to the things of this world. And once surrendered, even if we entered such places their effect would be null and void. It doesn’t make a difference if we stay out of wicked places, if the wickedness still resides in our heart. If you look lustfully at a woman…(Mat. 5:28).
Seven years ago, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Devastated by the news, I had to make serious changes to my lifestyle, especially my sugar consumption. I had to give up Pepsi and Little Debbie snacks. It took me a year to get to a place where I was safe from the dreadful effects of this disease. A couple of years after that, I was talking to my PA about my diet. For some unknown reason, he told me it was okay to eat sugar. I just had to keep an eye on my sugars. Well, I took a chance. For the first time in over three years, I took a bite of my favorite snack, oatmeal cakes. Guess what? I no longer had a taste for the snack. Nothing. There was no satisfaction. I couldn’t even tolerate the sweetness. It was nasty! And to this day, I can eat one. I can tolerate it better, but I don’t crave it. I don’t choose it. I will eat a banana that has just as much sugar. The desire to eat oatmeal snacks and drink Pepsi – is null and void. If that’s all there is to drink and eat. I don’t drink or eat.
There’s people that change their lives. They overcome habits and addictions. They no longer have a desire to fill those needs, because – somehow – they conquered those desires. They replaced a bad habit with a new agenda. Nevertheless, a naysayer comes along and say “He/she hasn’t changed. Just wait. As soon as trouble comes they will return to their old habits.” Thus, resurrecting what once was dead. It becomes a self-fulling prophesy. It happens.
As Christians we are not alone in our battles against the flesh. We have Jesus on our side and He never leaves us. When He does a good work in us – there is no going back.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 – Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
The world and its wicked ways are a sure sign of the times. We cannot remove ourselves from this world. But this is not just about staying out of places that can lead us to compromise. It’s about allowing Christ to renew our mind – destroying those strongholds that keep us enthralled in our wicked thoughts. We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And we who believe, we have hope. We draw our strength from our Savior, from the joy of our salvation. We have a risen Savior that has prepared a place for us in heaven.
Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
2 Corinthians 10: 3-6 – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
If the enemy cannot tempt you at the local bar, or casino – he will prowl around looking for a weakness. Therefore… be very concerned – about where your thoughts wander…
James 4:7 – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Thank you for reading. Be blessed.