Friday, September 09, 2005

Fight, Flight, or Hide?

Sometimes I like to ask myself "Am I following Christ, or running from the devil?". Resisting the devil without our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus will often lead us from one temptation to the next. When we evade a temptation, we may feel righteous, but pride is a sin. If we use the circumstances of Satan’s traps to guide us, he can herd us away from an authentic relationship with Christ, and into a system of legalism.

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

I love that verse. Step 1, Submit to God. Step 2, Resist the devil. Step 3, Watch him run.

There are so many references to the phrase "stand firm" in the bible. I think in most cases this is our best recipe for success. Often we are tempted to fight, flight, or hide. If God is who we believe he is, we should be able to stand firm on our foundation in Him.

My question: Is standing firm always what God wants us to do? Or are there times when the bible guides us to fight, flight or hide from the devil? Please provide scripture references with your answer.

4 Comments:

At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Greg said...

I’d agree that we often have the prideful, legalistic problem of resisting the devil without first submitting to God, thinking that we are something without Him. The Bible teaches that we run FROM the devil TO God. Jesus teaches us to replace the bad that is cast out of our life with His good ( Mat 12:43-45). Paul also describes the Christian life as being continually transformed from one degree of glory to the next by drawing closer to Him ( II Cor 3:18). God has won the battle with the devil through Christ once and for all (Rev 12:7-12) so, I’d say we always stand firm by the grace & protection of God.
How this translates in our relationships is the question. I guess the answer for Christians is given in ( Rom 14:4 & 5). God is able to make us all stand firm and we are to act towards other servants of Christ as if we and they are both standing firm by the grace and power of His resurrection. We are taught to encourage one another ( Heb 3:12-14), but not to pass judgment.
I wonder what the Bible teaches about how we deal with those who do not walk in the light. God’s focus is on our transformation from the inside out and not so much on the specifics of how we act. I suppose whether we fight, run or hide will become natural as when draw near to Him. Of course this doesn’t provide specific answers about whether we should actively fight evil in our society, or, “as much as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” ( Rom 12:18). This is a tough question to which I’d say the answer is “Yes”. . . there are times to stand up in relationships with those in darkness and there are times, to do what Paul tells Timothy, “Flee youthful lust . . .” ( II Tim 2:22) (Though notice here Paul also says to run TO righteousness) and there are times to hide under the shelter of His wing, but we are always standing firm by to power of His awesome grace!

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Word by Word said...

Josh,

I really like your blog. I'm glad I found it.

I've always loved that passage from James. I would like to point you also to verse 8 which says, "draw near to God and He will draw near to you." This is the real power we have to resist the devil. If we try to resist him in our own strenth we will fail.

I think we are supposed to always stand firm. Take a look at Ephesians 6:10-18. The whole theme of this passage is that we are to stand firm. Paul does't tell us to stand firm if we feel like it. He says when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground. Paul also tells exactly how to stand firm and what armor to use. The interesting thing to note about the armor is even though it is all defensive there is no mention of armor to protect the back. In other words, put on the armor of God and fight. There is no mention of running from the fight.

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Josh R said...

I think it is important to know where you are standing. If you are standing on the foundation that Christ built, Stand Firm.

If you are not, repent, and plant yourself on the foundation. Don't start running until you know where you are going, as it is a dangerous world out there, and there is only one safe place to stand.

 
At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Joann said...

I'm not yet good at providing scripture reference when I comment, so please forgive me for not being as good as you in this area. I'm still new at being a Christian as I've only been one for almost six years, and my learning disabilities tend to limit my understanding and ability to process information. However, I do know this: The Bible does make it very clear that, however imperfect we are, we should and we must flee from the devil and resist all temptation no matter what. But since we are not perfect at this, it is why Jesus suffered and died for us on the cross in the first place.

 

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