“The Power God Grants Us”
Christians are commanded throughout scripture regarding the importance of humility. Additionally, God repeatedly tells His followers about the dangers associated with haughty attitudes and "Too Big For Your Britches" mentalities. At the same time, God has endowed each of us with incredible power that, although it comes from Him, it is ours to use for good purpose. In giving us such power, God expects great things. Consider one simple sentence tucked into the New Testament book of James wherein the inspired writer records the following simple, to-the-point words:
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
If we're not careful, this is one of those places in the Bible that we'll read quickly and move on without really thinking about what was just said. This one short sentence is INCREDIBLE and deserves a few observations.
For one, we need to consider the devil. Knowing our enemy is important and that's why God spends so much time talking about him in His holy word. And each time he is referenced, it is abundantly clear that he is very capable, very diligent, and far too often, very effective. God isn't asking us to do some small thing in resisting Satan himself—that's huge! But God also doesn't ask us to do things that are impossible. God grants us power to defeat Satan!
Additionally, the ability to resist rests squarely on our shoulders. If I fail to resist Satan, it's my fault. It's not your fault nor is it God's fault. God tells you and me to resist the devil. Again, God does not command us to do things that are impossible, but only expects of us the things which we can do. When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he highlighted the fact that God provides a way of escape from every temptation which Satan puts before us (I Corinthians 10:13). But at the same time, God doesn't make it so that we are free from the temptations which come as a result of living in creation wherein the Creator gives us free will. Still, it's impressive to consider that, with God, I have the power to resist!
Finally, James tells saints like you and me that when we fight back against Satan and his tricks, he will flee from us. Consider that for a moment. You and I have the power to cause Satan, whose own power is significant, to run from our presence. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness before launching His public teaching, He stood up against Satan on the three occasions that the devil approached Him and each time, used a godly argument to withstand the pressure of the evil one. And what was the result of this action on the part of our Savior? Matthew 4:11 says simply that, "The devil left Him." It's important to note that the power that Jesus had in order to succeed is NO different than the power that God has bestowed on us. We must never, ever forget that. While humble and obedient in all things, let us be bold and remember the power that we have that comes directly from our eternal and powerful Creator.