This verse is pretty straightforward. It doesn't require any great intellect to grasp the concept presented here, yet how often do we actually resist the devil? Isn't it amazing the lengths the human mind will go to in order to justify what we want? We are all extremely adept at convincing ourselves that we are 'right' and all those holding a persuasion different from ours are 'wrong.' And once we have convinced ourselves of our 'rightness,' we will go to great lengths in an attempt to coerce others into changing their beliefs to suit ours. Instead of resisting the devil as we are told to do, we often will go to great lengths to both defend and promote beliefs and teachings that are in blatant opposition to the Gospel of Christ, all the while convinced that we are doing God great service.
Despite our adamant outcry that "we don't do that," our actions speak much louder than our disclaimer. It is evidenced in how often we follow Jesus' commandments... such as when he said "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" Matthew 5:39. Today's 'Christians' are in the front of the line when it comes to defending themselves. We would have to look long and hard to find even one who when wronged does not indignantly take steps to justify themselves. No turning the other cheek for this generation... 'we have rights after all.'
This is to our great loss. We have grown up in a Church environment that has been steadily drifting further and further from the Gospel of Christ and into full blown apostasy. This has been accomplished by compromising the Gospel for a variety of reasons. We were born into the 'last days,' and despite the fact that we have a 'Church' on almost every corner in this country, we have very few who walk what they talk, from leadership down to the layman. This is to our own detriment. Sitting in our smug, self-righteous, institutions we look down our noses at the lost, just as the Pharisees looked down upon the King of Kings. We are making little to no impact on the world, because we have abandoned seeking after holiness, (without which no man shall see God. Heb.12:13). We have been smooth-talked into accepting 'another gospel' that is devoid of LIFE. Why is it lifeless? Because it nullifies all of God's requirements: no genuine repentance, no sacrifice, no obedience, no fear of the LORD. The focus is diverted from what we can do to please God and be conformed into the image of His Son, to what we can get from God while still clinging to all the things this world has to offer.
We call ourselves 'joint heirs with Christ,' yet we refuse to lay down our lives; we refuse to submit to His authority. We want His power, without our submission. Is it any wonder then that what we have today are men and women who have risen to great heights, and possess great wealth and power, but the source of this power is actually anti-christ? Freely using the name of Jesus, without any attempt to follow His example. We would do well to get back into the Word first-hand... to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If we are willing to settle for pre-digested interpretations, then we are most likely going to spiritually starve to death.
"Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire and declaring you unworthy and disqualifying you for the prize, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions [he claims] he has seen, vainly puffed up by his sensuous notions and inflated by his unspiritual thoughts and fleshly conceit, And not holding fast to the Head, from Whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by means of its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God" Colossians 2:18.
Only the Spirit of God can give us understanding. There is one head, one covering, one leader in the Body of Christ, and that One is Jesus Christ! Not any religious leader!
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" Colossians 2:8.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" 1 John 2:15.
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" James 4:4.
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness" 1 Corinthians 3:19.
"Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation" Romans 13:2.
We are in bad shape when we exalt and admire leaders that are full of pride and arrogance. That believe that they are 'entitled' to live in luxury while their followers are barely making ends meet, and then have the audacity to call it 'God's blessing.' Some even go so far as to hold up their wealth as being an example of what their followers can receive by their continued giving. We all want the blessing and provision of God, but how many of us are willing to give Him our all in order to get it?
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" 2 Peter 1:4.
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" James 4:6. And again in 1 Peter 5:5 "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."
If we are not walking in humility... then we are not walking in the Spirit. And if we are not walking in the Spirit, we are walking in the flesh. If we love the world, and the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in us. Can we get a handle on that? Are we hungering and thirsting to be filled with God, to be 'partakers of the divine nature' or are we still wallowing in the corruption of the lusts of this world? Do we want to 'Lord it' over others? Even feel 'entitled' to run roughshod over our spouse? our children? our co-workers? those less fortunate than us? Our attitude makes all the difference in our conduct and expectations.
We have many today who are so consumed with building 'their' ministries, that they are blind to the fact that their way is contrary to and in opposition to God's way. "Now just as Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned" 2 Timothy 3:8. From commentary by A.R. Fausset: resist--"withstand," as before. They did so by trying to rival Moses' miracles. So the false teachers shall exhibit lying wonders in the last days ( Mat 24:24 2Th 2:9 Rev 13:14, 15 ). We are inundated today with "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself" 1 Timothy 6:5.
Be aware that our generation is not superior to any of the generations that have gone before us. Paul goes on to warn us in Timothy of the very thing we are seeing happening right now... "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" 2 Timothy 3:13-17.
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" 2 Corinthians 13:5.
"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate" Titus 1:16.
Our generation has become overly adept at rejecting the Holy Spirit's guidance, choosing instead to attach ourselves to this or that teacher. Preferring to seek out those who would tell us what we want to hear... rejecting the way of the cross... rejecting any kind of pain or suffering, as if our obedience were somehow 'optional.'
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
We are inundated in this late hour with false doctrines. All fabricated from bits and pieces of 'truth' mixed with vain imaginings and literally doctrines of devils. And the people love to have it so.
Solomon declared millennia ago... "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun" Ecclesiastes 1:9. And the Prophet Jeremiah declared...
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" Jeremiah 5:31.
What will we do indeed? How prepared are we to 'stand' when the time comes that Jesus warned us of in Luke 21:12 "But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake." Or Luke 21:16-17 "And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake."
Jesus' words are LIFE my friends. We don't get to make up our own rules as we go along. "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" Matthew 18:17.
If we neglect to HEAR what the Spirit is saying, we will not be spiritually prepared for anything. When trouble and tribulation comes to our lives, we will not be able to stand. Today, few even believe that they will ever have to suffer anything. They have bought into the traditions and teachings of men that they will be caught away before God's wrath is poured out. Time will tell, but if tribulation comes to us here in America, and we are not prepared, there will be no time or opportunity to get our act together at the last minute. We are all familiar with the parable of the ten virgins. We need to know where we will be counted... will we be found standing among the wise or the foolish ones?
"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him" Hebrews 2:3.
The Way has been made... every provision is in place... we can be more than conquerors through Christ our Lord. Jesus said in Luke 18:7-8 "And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
If we reject Him, He will reject us. It's that simple. If you were to look up the definitions in the Concordance for the above verse, you would discover that Jesus is asking a question to which a 'negative response is expected.' That should be a wake up call to us people. The opening verse is not stating a mere possibility, it is TRUTH.