Resistance is not futile…

For those of us who are sci-fi junkies, you will recognize the reference in the title of this post to the Borg from Star Trek.  (Yes, I’m a mild Trekkie- but you will never see me dressed as a Star Fleet captain or attending a Star Trek convention.) Just so you know, the Borg were a race of cyborgs that sought to forcibly assimilate all of mankind into their rank.  They would always say “resistance is futile.”

That’s fiction, of course.  But we do face a real, unrelenting enemy who want to assimilate us into the sinful ways of the world.  He wants us to believe that resistance is futile.  He strikes us at our weakest points and tries to tempt us to sin and stumble in our walk with Christ.

Even Jesus was tempted by the devil.   Most of us know the story of Satan appearing to Christ in the wilderness and trying to lead him astray with three temptations.  You can read about this in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13.  What sticks out to me most about this story, though, is a detail Luke includes in verse 13:

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:13, ESV)

Jesus did not resist the devil and never face temptation again.  Satan came back at an opportune time to try to tempt the Savior of the world again.  The same is true for us.  We should always be on guard because the enemy of our souls is always looking for an opportunity to attack us:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8, ESV)

An enemy that cannot overpower you directly will try to repeatedly attack and weaken you over time.  This is the strategy that Satan loves to employ against the people of God.  If we do not work hard to persevere, we give the enemy an opening in our lives.

When we are repeatedly tempted and find it difficult to stay strong, Satan will whisper in your ear “give in; resistance is futile.”  But don’t do it.  As always, he is the father of lies.  Resisting the attack of the enemy is important.

First, know that the enemy will try to convince you that you cannot withstand his great power.  The truth is, God has equipped you for spiritual warfare so you can stand against the schemes of the enemy:

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:11-13, ESV)

Not only can you stand, you can send the enemy packing!  You are an overcoming child of God!  Jesus has already won the victory, and he has made you more than a conqueror.  Don’t fear the enemy- let him fear you!

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, ESV)

Satan lies to us and wants us to give us because it is perseverance that will see us through to the finish line.  Perseverance will keep us faithful to God and allow us to enter into glory.  If he can wear you down, he can lure you away from the faith.

But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13, ESV)

When we stand against the enemy and remain faithful to God, when we resist temptation and follow God’s plans instead, we deny the enemy a stronghold in our lives and we receive empowerment from God.  After Jesus rejected Satan’s advances, here is what happened:

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit… (Luke 4:14a, ESV)

God has a special anointing waiting for the child of God who stands strong and endures.  If you want to realize God’s incredible plans for your life, it starts with rejecting the plans of the enemy.  You can either give Satan a stronghold in your life for his wayward schemes, or allow God a stronghold in your life to accomplish his plans of prosperity, hope, and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).

Resistance is NOT futile.  Whose plans will you allow to come to fruition in your life?