“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” – James 4:7-8
Last year in early springtime, my husband and I had the opportunity to go camping. At that time of year, rain and snow can still be a part of the beauty of the region we live in. It was quite cold and to some, it would not have been the most ideal time for camping, but we enjoy the challenge. The campfire and a cup of hot coffee encourage me to get out of the sleeping bag in the morning, as well as the birds who greet us in song.
As I sat before the campfire one morning, trying to warm up, there was a problem. Just when it felt like I was in a good spot, smoke started blowing in my eyes and clouding my vision. This caused me to back away from the warmth of the fire, which made me cold again. But when I scooted closer, there was smoke. Something needed to be done!
In order to enjoy the fire, it was necessary to become a proactive heat-seeker. I searched around the campfire for a smoke-free spot, and threw on another log to stir up the flames. Only by paying attention to the location of the smoky spots could I enjoy the heat and have clear vision. Had I remained in the same spot, merely hoping for things to improve, I would have ended up either continually cold or bombarded by smoke.
The situation reminded me of how Satan sometimes tries to discourage us spiritually. If we let him, he would love to bring to our minds reasons to have hurt feelings, to think we are not good enough, or to believe that we cannot make it through our trials—anything that would discourage us. He wants to cloud our vision of Jesus and cause us to distance ourselves from Him. In those moments, something needs to be done! When Satan attacks, we cannot continue listening to his lies; we need to become pro-active God seekers.
Today’s focus verses give three things we can do in order to get close to God without being hindered by the enemy: submit to God’s plan for our lives; seek His will, His wisdom, and His direction; and resist the enemy’s lies with the truth of God’s Word. Then, God’s Word promises that Satan must flee and God will come near. Finally we can simply enjoy the warmth of God’s love.
How close do we want to get to Jesus? How bright can our vision of Him be? It will not happen just by wishing and hoping; we need to do something. May we be pro-active seekers today and find more of Him than ever before.