Links Daily Devotional

Resistance

Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. (Ephesians 6:13)

Resistance, in spite of what the Vogons say in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is not useless. But even if the Vogons are correct when it comes to fighting them, I know resistance works in two places, and one of those is in the mental battles of golf.

when it comes to fighting in spiritual warfare, resistance may be the most effective tactic we have. Have you ever had an opponent try to insert a negative thought in your mind? He might say to you as you step up to the tee, “How far to carry that bunker on the right?” He doesn’t want to know, he just wants you to think about the bunker. You must resist his effort to fill your thoughts with trouble, and the way to do that is to acknowledge the question, answer it as you can (so there is an end to the dialogue), then step away from the ball and start your routine over, focusing on your target. (There’s a fun story about that in Getting to Scratch that involves not a bunker, but a goat.)

It is not a good idea to go on the offensive and say, “That bunker is out of my range, but you can reach it.” Such a strategy can just as easily turn against you as it can against your opponent. Resistance is enough, even if the person talking to you is you.

And when it comes to fighting in spiritual warfare, resistance may be the most effective tactic we have. Note what Paul said early in his short treatise on the armor of God, as quoted above: resist the enemy in the time of evil.

Perhaps you can list each piece in the “whole armor of God” passage (Ephesians 6:10-17). Some sound like you might use them for resistance (shield, helmet, breastplate), but what about a sword? Shouldn’t you use that as an offensive weapon? It may be that there is little need for an offensive weapon in the spiritual battle, because in another place James wrote, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Here is the point: you cannot kill the devil, but that is OK because he is already defeated. Likewise the devil cannot destroy your soul (at least not without your permission), so your best strategy in spiritual warfare is simple resistance.

Knowing this, why do I fail to resist? I fail because the devil can be attractive (2 Corinthians 11:14), is very crafty (Genesis 3:11), and he is a master of personalized temptation (Matthew 4:1-10). Resisting an attempt to get your mind off your target is one thing, resisting “the enemy” is something else, but it works in both cases. For much of my life I pictured the fight with evil as one that had me on the offensive. I was in the battle swinging, and maybe shooting and kicking and biting as well. But Paul didn’t say, “Get in there and punch the devil in the nose.” He said, “Use every piece of God’s armor to resist.”

Who knew that resistance could be so useful? Use it well, and after the battle you will be standing firm.

Lewis Greer
February 18, 2016
Copyright 2016 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.