by Neil Anderson
1 John 2:14 NIV
I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
According to John, new Christians are like little children whose sins are forgiven and who have entered into the knowledge of God. Mature saints are likened to old men who have a deep knowledge of God. In between are the young men, growing Christians whose chief characteristic is that they have overcome the evil one. No wonder we don’t have very many mature saints in the Western world. We scarcely recognize that there is an evil one, let alone overcome him!
Until you have overcome the evil one, you may not have a lot of mental peace. If you are attempting to deal with deceiving thoughts by trying to rebuke them, you’ll be like the person treading water in the middle of the ocean whose life’s purpose is to keep 12 corks, which are bobbing close by, submerged with a little hammer! Acknowledge the presence of the corks, but ignore them and swim to shore! Don’t pay attention to deceiving spirits.
The whole thrust of Scripture directs us to choose truth. We dispel the darkness by turning on the light. If you are plagued by tempting thoughts, bring the issue before God and seek to resolve that which is keeping you from having perfect fellowship with Him. The devil isn’t the primary issue–he is only taking advantage of the fact that your fellowship with God has been broken. James 4:7 has the right priorities: “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The primary issue is to submit to God.
Satan knows that if he can keep our minds distracted, we won’t have much of a prayer life with God. Prayer is the vital link for God’s guidance. If we are going to walk with God through the darkness, we must have the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
Prayer: Lord, thank You that as I submit to You and resist the devil, Satan must flee and I will be free.