Do you remember playing with magnets as a kid? Do you remember the first time you discovered that two magnets can actually push each other away? No matter how hard you try they simply will not occupy the same space!
The very same dynamic works spiritually!
In John 10:10 Jesus states clearly that He came to bring us life, but just prior to that He makes reference to the thief that comes “to steal and kill and destroy.” There is debate about whether or not Jesus’ reference here to a thief is referring to Satan – the devil; but even if it’s not it is an apt description of his intentions.
It’s easy to forget that this life is also an ongoing spiritual battle zone and that Satan is actively working to attack and destroy us. He wants nothing more than to fill our heads and hearts with greed, unforgiveness, bitterness… all the things that can keep us apart from God and unable to experience His divine presence.
Satan is a formidable foe but the Hollywood version of him is misleading because his power is limited. While he may be stronger and craftier than you and me, his power is nothing compared to God’s.
Learning to embrace the full and satisfying life that Jesus came to make possible (John 10:10) will also require us to resist and repel Satan like the magnets we played with as kids. And James is very specific in how we do that.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” ~ James 4:7-8 (NLT)
To humble ourselves is to submit to God’s authority in every area of life. When we do that daily, moment-by-moment, we are empowered to resist the devil and we are set free to draw close to God.