James 4:7-8a – 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. (KJV)
One recent Saturday night, a month after my hip replacement, I was filled with praise to God, even after going to bed. For two hours, I couldn't sleep as I thought about all the good things God had done for me. The Holy Spirit showed me things I could write about and share with others. A burden of prayer came upon me, and I interceded for some friends who were in need.
Finally, I fell asleep — and even dreamed. This dream had a message that helped me understand my nature better, so I went over it in my mind several times after I awoke. I wanted to remember it when I got up. Soon it was 2:30 a.m., and I couldn't get back to sleep. I twisted and turned and took a Tylenol, but nothing helped.
By 4 a.m., I was feeling alarmed. I had planned to go to church that morning — my first time back since my hip surgery. With such little sleep, how could I stay awake during the sermon? I fretted for an hour and then realized that we could come home after Sunday School if I were really too tired. Satan was just trying to make me fearful so I would stay home. I was still awake when the alarm went off at 5:45, but I felt more relaxed. I had resisted the devil, and God had given me peace.
Amazingly, I felt good that Sunday and stayed awake during the sermon. I will never forget that difficult night. At first, I had experienced God's presence in a special way. Then after sleeping a few hours, I had battled the enemy of my soul. Through Christ, I had won the victory in it all. I had put God first and gone to church to worship Him!
God will enable us to obey Him if we truly love Him.
Prayer: Lord, help us to draw near You every day and to lift our praises to You for Your goodness and grace. Although the devil will certainly attack us and tempt us, You can enable us to resist him. Help us always to focus on Jesus and to do Your will. Amen.
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