“Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
I heard it all my life, “resist the devil and he will flee from you”, but it didn’t seem to work. Sometimes, not always, I was trying my best to resist doing things I knew were wrong, but I still kept doing them, why? The answer is easy, read the first part of this scripture. You can’t resist the devil, at least not by yourself, you must get God involved.
First – Submit to God, seek His help, trust Him to guide and protect you. Second – Resist the devil, you will still have to put feet to the floor and not go near the things that are a weakness to you. Third – The devil will leave you alone, it may only be for a short time, but he will leave you alone, then keep trusting God and standing firm.
Follow Jesus’ example in Matthew 4 when He was tempted, it will work for you too.
“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land….You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
As a gardener I love this verse. It is so wonderful to see a lush, green, well-watered garden full of life. God promises to take care of us so that we can be like that well watered garden and grow.
Just like in the story of the woman at the well, this old testament prophet talks about Jesus, and the spring Whose waters never fail.
“Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town and she began telling the people, Come, see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did! Is not this the Christ! So the people left the town and set out to go to Him.” John 4:28 – 30 (Amplified)
Yesterday we saw that in this story Jesus point-blank tells the woman at the well that He is the Messiah. Her response? She left her water jar and went to town to tell the people there.
Two important points here – 1. She left what she was doing and went, and 2. She went to the people who likely ridiculed her and gossiped about her because of her sinful lifestyle. It’s amazing, her spiritual eyes were opened and her earthly eyes were closed. If she had hesitated for a moment all of her doubts and fears would have crushed her enthusiasm. This is a wonderful lesson for us. When the Spirit of God moves us, don’t stop!
Have you told all the people in your town about Jesus?
“(Jesus is speaking) God is a spirit, a spiritual Being, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming. He Who is called the Christ, the Anointed One, and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us. Jesus said to her, I Who now speak with you am He.” John 4:24-26
We are nearing the end of the story of the woman at the well and her conversation with Jesus. In verse 23 He told her that the true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth. In then in verse 24 He breaks it down even more for her by explaining that God is a spiritual Being. Like talking to someone who speaks another language, you must speak to God in a spiritual language. We also “talk” to God with all that we say and do everyday.
At last she gets to the point of the story, the discussion of the Messiah and Jesus tells her point blank that He is the Messiah. What does she do with that information? Tune in tomorrow to find out.
“Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither in this mountain nor merely in Jerusalem. A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true and genuine worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers.” John 4:21 & 23 (Amplified)
The Samaritan woman has just pointed out to Jesus the religious differences between the samaritans and the jews, as if He didn’t already know. Of course this was done to merely get Him off track from their discussion of her current lifestyle.
Notice Jesus does not say one is right or wrong, but He tells her the proper way to worship God – in spirit and in truth. Let’s unpack that a little. Our spirit is our conscience, it tells us what is right and wrong, it leads us in our decisions, it is where we meet God. Truth is what we think, say and do.
How we act every day and in every situation is our worship of God, that is what Jesus is telling us here. How was your worship service today?
“The woman said to him, Sir, I see and understand that You are a prophet. Our forefathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary and proper to worship.” John 4:19-20
As we continue the study of the woman at the well and her conversation with Jesus we can see the progression of her thinking. Jesus has just told her that He knows about her current living situation and her prior relationships. Even for a Samaritan she knows she is living a sinful lifestyle, so she does what most people do when confronted with their spiritual state, she shifts the focus. Something else people do when confronted with their spiritual life is to point the finger at religion. Most people who don’t go to church say the people there are hypocrites, are the church just wants money or the leaders are corrupt and so on. Even if any of that were true what difference does that make in your relationship with God, that’s personal.
Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord, if not talk to Him about it.
“At this point Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband and come back here. The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have spoken truly in saying, I have no husband. For you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband. In this you have spoken truly.” John 4:16-18
This is where the rubber meets the road. Jesus was getting into this woman’s business, but to her credit, she did not lie, she told him the truth. I think we see her spiritual eyes beginning to open a little. She seems to be starting to see that this man is more than just a man. What a history, though, five husbands and now living with a man she is not married to! Now we know why she was going to the well alone and at noon. The other women would not associate with her.
Do you ever feel like you are not accepted? Jesus has the answer.