Isaiah 59:15 ESV Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
There is this strange paradox that exists if righteous behavior and purity of heart is desired. Scripture commands us to flee from sin, and it also promises that if we resist the devil, he must flee. That sounds like a perfect battle plan to me, to walk in obedience with God. However, Isaiah says in a round-about way, that there is a proverbial storm before the calm. When we choose to remove ourselves from temptation, we are going against the tide, or swimming against the current. It isn’t as easy as just walking away. There’s this thing called “Peer Pressure,” a very real force that can come from the mob mentality, which relishes and delights in shared misery. Evil doers love to be around other evil doers. And when I choose to remove myself from the presence of sin, or the company of evil doers, I will quickly become a target. A spotlight or stage light will suddenly be turned upon my choice to run back to God. I will be confronted, most likely publically, as a mutineer. It will be hard a first; public mockery can bruise a weak heart if one isn’t grounded in God, and assured of their identification in the Father’s royal family. Yes the enemy must flee if we resist him…but you can be assured that he will put up a fight, and resist letting go. I don’t need to be in close proximity with evil doers to experience this truth; I can be in the quiet seclusion of my own home and experience this “peer pressure” from Satan and his cronies. Darkness wants a victim of the Light. It celebrates when a child of the King gives in and falls. It will attack, denounce, accuse, and condemn the one who chooses to break ranks and instead run to God, thereby seeking shelter in his shadow. Yes, when I resist temptation, I can count on becoming a prey, but my Lord is a powerful Father, just waiting to reach down and scoop me up and into his hands, thereby providing the inner peace that I strongly desire.
I thank you Father for revealing to me the strategies and schemes of the devil. Thank you for encouraging me to work through, and work out, the disciplines of resisting temptation.