Submission as Freedom; Part III

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So how was your weekend? 

 

I’ve been wondering about some practical applications for James 4:7 – just how does it look?

 

Well, Chad Berry gives us just that today. (Thanks, Chad!) If you are just joining our guest blogger for the first time today, you will want to go back to his two earlier posts to catch up before you read today. 

 

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God has given us an incredible example in Jesus. Our Lord’s response to the devil’s temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13) is a great model to follow and a great, practical picture of what James 4:7 looks like when lived out.

 

 Jesus responded to Satan’s temptations by knowing, quoting and rightly applying – all were needed – God’s Word. He didn’t just say “Don’t put God to the test.” He really didn’t put God to the test! In the end, the devil left . 

 

We once were talking to our 7-year-old about something she had done wrong. She was hesitant to accept full culpability. “I tried to do the right thing, but you know that devil, he’s always trying to get ya!” she said. 

 

It was a teachable moment. She had taken truth, but misapplied and twisted it (a common temptation for us all). The Bible does show that the devil is a powerful enemy who is trying to steal, kill and destroy us.

 

But it also says we can successfully fight the devil, too. “The devil made me do it” doesn’t fly. The devil tempts and his temptations are strong; but you did it and are responsible for your sin. You are a child of God now; resist the devil.

 

1 Cor. 10:13 is good here: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

 

I would like to close with an appeal to freedom. Freedom from sin. Freedom to experience what Jesus called “the abundant life“. Not an easy life, mind you, but one that is full because it is redeemed and lived with our Lord and Savior.

 

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16)

 

Here, we submit to God’s definition of freedom, resisting the devil and his deceptive schemes to make us think the ways of this world are freedom. It is a fight, but it’s one we can win by God’s power and grace. 

 

In sum, a few practical applications: 

  1. Reflect on God’s goodness and be in awe, living a life of worship and thankfulness before Him. 
  2. Reflect on “lordship.” Who is Lord in your life or in a certain situation? Let it be Jesus and humble yourself before him. 
  3. Study the Bible. Read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Journal about it. Speak it. Share it. We need to know it! 
  4. Apply the Word you know. Preach to yourself constantly, reminding yourself of the gospel and biblical truths. 
  5. Do not cower before the devil and give in to his temptations because you think resisting is futile. Fight him by the power of the Holy Spirit. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

 

Our gracious and good God is worthy to be praised in word and deed. 

 

Chad and daughter, Isabella.