Many of us try to rebuke the devil in our strength. We then become frustrated and puzzled when he doesn’t move. We wonder why we are powerless and give in to every temptation that comes our way. I am no stranger to the above scenarios. However, as I mature in the Lord, I have learned that submission unlocks the power of God, which in turn gives me the ability to resist the devil. It is also important to note that whomever you worship is the one you are submitted to. This is clearly demonstrated in the last temptation Jesus faced in Mathew 4. The devil tries to get Jesus to worship Him in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus rebukes the devil, tells him that we should worship and serve the Lord and Him only. Mathew 4:11 lets us know that the devil left Jesus and angels came and ministered to him. It was Jesus’ submission and worship to the father that unlocked the power that gave Him the ability to resist the devil successfully! This verse confirms what is written in James 4:7, that we are to submit to God, resist the devil and He will flee. Take note of the order in the above verse. First you submit to God, then you resist the devil and THEN the devil flees. We are rendered powerless when we don’t follow the preceding order.
Below are some scriptures that tell us we are to submit to God and also who God wants us to submit to here on earth. Keep in mind that we cant say we are submitted to God, if we neglect to submit to those He tells us to on earth. For example, as a wife, I can’t say I am submitted to God if I am not submitted to my husband. I encourage you review the below verses and ask the Lord to show you the areas in which you may be unsubmitted.
Hebrews 13:17 (NLT)
17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
1 Peter 2:13-14 (NLT)
13 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed.
Romans 13:1-3 (NLT)
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.
Ephesians 5:22-24 (NLT)
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
Colossians 3:18 (NLT)
Instructions for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.
The children of Israel missed the purpose of the wilderness. It was meant to perfect them and not destroy them. When they were delivered from slavery, God led them to the wilderness. They weren’t meant to stay there forever, it was in preparation for the promised land. In Deuteronomy 8:2-3, God explains through Moses the purpose of the wilderness. It was to humble them, to test what was in their heart and to see if they would obey God. They weren’t prepared to possess the promise, they had to go through a spiritual detox if you will. The first generation REFUSED to let the wilderness perfect them. They CONSTANTLY complained, lacked faith, refused to obey God, created idols and in many ways flat out rejected God! Time revealed that the real wilderness was in their heart!
If we get the promise when we still have a wilderness heart, the promise will prove to be a curse instead of a blessing. The state of our heart towards God will determine our ability to possess and rightly steward His promises. What has been your response when going through a wilderness season? Do you see it for what it is and praise God for perfecting you and preparing you? Or are you like the children of Israel and constantly complain and refuse to allow God to perform surgery on your wilderness heart? A promise is on the other side of the wilderness, I encourage you to submit to the process!
James 1:2-4 NLT Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Do I hunger for the bread of heaven or the things of this world? What I consume the most determines the answer to that question. If my focus is on gaining more money, status and pleasure from this world, then my diet will reflect that. Most of my time and energy will be spent on feeding my flesh while my spirit man starves. The things of this world bring temporary satisfaction and it will fade and leave me hungrier than before. However, when I am hungry for more of God, spending time in His presence becomes my main priority. I don’t make excuses as to why I can’t, I make it happen. Real hunger births desperation and desperate people are driven to action. I love that my Jesus responds in a very loud way to people who are desperate for Him; ask Blind Bartimaeus and the Woman with the issue of blood. Truth is, I become satisfied and never hunger again when I continually feast on Jesus, the bread of life.
The ongoing question we must all ask ourselves is, “Am I willing to deny myself the “bread” of this world so that I may feast on the bread of life?” What’s your answer?
John 6:35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
In Mathew 4 Jesus was extremely hungry because He had been fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. The devil tried to take advantage of Jesus’ vulnerable state and tempted Him to turn stone into bread to satisfy His hunger. Jesus responds to the devil that man should not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Mathew 4:4). Notice Jesus didn’t say we should live on SOME of the word but ALL of it! Many only want to feast on the feel-good parts of the word of God; quick to get the dessert and would rather skip over the meat and potatoes so to speak. Without hesitation, we gobble down scriptures that tell us that God is going to prosper us. We push off our plates the parts that admonishes us to bear good fruit and the warnings that follow. We want to feast on passages that tells us He will protect us from our enemies, but are hesitant to eat the parts that tells us about the consequences of our sin and the fact that followers of Christ will suffer. However, to be fully nourished spiritually, we must take heed to Jesus’ statement in Mathew 4:4 and EAT all the word!
I normally get up before the children to have my quiet time with the Lord. Then later when I have devotion with them, I share what I studied in my devotional time. I love this approach because it gives me an opportunity to teach what I just learned, which further solidifies the lesson for me.
In this post, I shared the insights I received from reading the genealogy of Jesus in Mathew 1 during my personal devotion. When it was time to have devotion with the children on the same topic, I took a more creative approach. I believe it is important to encourage the children to get a deeper understanding of scripture, but this process doesn’t have to be boring!
After reading Mathew 1:1-17 as a group, I divided the children into groups of two. I assigned each group one indivi dual that was mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Each group had to read a passage of scripture that gave more details about their assigned individual. For example, group 1 was assigned Ruth and they were asked to read the entire book of Ruth since it is short. Group 2 had Jacob and they read Genesis 27. The 3rd and final group got David and read 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12. Each group was given 30-40 mins to read their assigned passage and then come up with a creative way to present what they learned to the large group. One group wrote a rap, the other two did a dramatic presentation with props, and drew pictures to retell the story. This helps them to learn in different ways and helps to break up the monotony of devotion. It helps that my voice is not the only voice that they hear, and they are given some “ownership.” The movement also helps the younger ones to not check out. Also, when the children present what they just learned, this helps me to assess if they have really grasped what they read. The children really enjoy this approach to devotion and thinking outside the box. I would love to hear from you, what are creative ways that you have devotion with your children?
I was never one to pay attention to genealogies in the bible because they bored me. However, my perspective is changing as I continue to study the bible and learn more about the different characters. For example, as my knowledge continues to grow, I get excited about the genealogy in Mathew 1. I see so many, “But God,” examples in this passage. Allow me to explain.
I see names like Rahab who WAS a prostitute.
Jacob who WAS a deceiver.
Ruth who WAS a pagan.
The key word is WAS. These people had a marred past BUT GOD!
But God forgave them.
But God used them for His glory.
Their past did not hinder God from using them and ultimately changing them! I love this because I am living this truth. My life is a continuous ‘BUT GOD’ testimony!
It’s not your past mistakes that disqualifies you. Instead, its your decision to continue in those mistakes and not come to the one who is able to make all things new…again and again!
I would love to hear from you. Do you have a “But God” testimony? Tell me about it in the comments below.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!