Overcoming the Devil

Mason Harris
Newbern, Tennessee

It is said that after Thomas Carlyle took Ralph Waldo Emerson through the dark streets of London, with its sin, he asked, "Do you believe in the Devil now?" In our own day listen to die news or read the daily paper if you need proof of the, Devil's existence.

Not only does he exist, Peter says, "your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour." Naturalists have observed that a lion roars when he is aroused with hunger, for then he is most fierce, and most eagerly seeks his prey. And under the figure of a hungry lion, Peter pictures the devil at work among people. And what defense does man have in the presence of such a foe? James said, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (1:7)

The strategy for overcoming the devil begins in the submission of self unto God. We are to yield to what he has judged necessary for our welfare in the, life that is, and our salvation in the life to come. The object of the command here is to show how we might obtain the grace, which God is willing to bestow, and how we might overcome the evils against which we have been warned.

The strategy for overcoming the devil continues by resisting him, and this is with the assurance that the devil will flee. While we are to yield to God in all things, we are to yield to the devil in nothing. We are to resist and oppose him in whatever way lie may approach us, whether by allurements, by flattering promises, by the fascinations of the world, by temptations, or by threats.

The true way of meeting him is by direct resistance, rather than by argument; by steadfast refusing to yield in the slightest degree, rather than by a belief that we can either convince him that he is wrong, or can return to virtue when we have gone a certain length in complying with his demands. No one is safe who yields in the least to the suggestions of the Tempter. Place yourself under the, protecting arm of God. He is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able to overcome. (1 Cor. 10:13)


July 19, 1973