Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. – James 4:7-8 ESV
After the Israelites conquered Jericho, the next city on their radar was Ai. It was such a tiny city, they felt they could overpower it with only a portion of their army. They didn’t get the chance to find out because they were defeated because of Achan’s sin.
Read: Be On Your Guard
After the children of Israel had made recompense for Achan’s sin, they were ready to take on Ai again. The plan was to ambush the city of Ai. Some of the Israelite soldiers would lie in wait behind the city ready to attack, while the rest would pretend to be beaten before Ai (Joshua 8:3-8).
The plan was carried out perfectly. When the people of Ai realized that the Israelites were fleeing from before them, they sent word to everyone in the city to join them in pursuit. All the inhabitants of Ai and Bethel pursued the Israelites leaving the city gates wide open (Joshua 8:16-17).
This created the perfect opportunity for the Israelites who were in hiding to occupy the city and set it on fire. The men of Ai were trapped between the two fractions of the Israelite army (Joshua 8:19-20).
The men of Ai left their city unprotected which gave their enemies an opportunity to go in and occupy it. We can learn from the men of Ai.
As children of God, we’re encouraged to resist the enemy (James 4:7). We should do everything in our power not to give the devil the opportunity to set up a stronghold in our lives.
Satan hates those who worship the true God. He has spent eons perfecting his weapons against us. The best chance we have of defending ourselves against him is to prevent him from taking up space in our hearts and mind.
That’s why Paul encouraged the Ephesians to take up the whole armor of God. Our power to resist the enemy comes from God and the only way we’re going to defeat him is through the power we receive from Jesus Christ.
But a lot of us give away our power. We give the enemy little doorways into our lives. We do things we know are not right while thinking that we’re in control, but the truth is we’re not. Yes, we have victory over the devil through Christ, but do not underestimate the enemy.
He is stronger, faster, older, and more knowledgeable than we are. He’s spent a lot of years perfecting his craft. He also has a lot of resources at his disposal. The only way we can claim victory over the devil is by putting on, and using, the armor that God has given us.
But we can’t stand against the enemy if we invite him into our lives. Sin separates us from God and if we practice sin, we deepen the chasm between us and God (1 John 3:4-9). Strive to resist temptation and confess your sins as soon as you become aware of it. In fact, make it a habit to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin in your life so that you don’t give the enemy room in your heart.
My friend, are you giving the enemy a foothold in your life? Are you doing things you know should not be done? Now is the time to confess your sins, repent, and turn back to God. Do not give the devil power over your life.
Father, I confess my sins before You. Reveal to me any place where I have given the enemy a foothold in my life. Give me the power through Your Son Jesus Christ to reclaim any territory that has been lost. Give me the strength I need to resist the devil. In Jesus’s name, I pray, Amen.
Other actions you can take: