10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 7

For the next several days, I will be hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.


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

—James 4:7

Our oldest daughter left home when she was only eighteen. She was tired of our rules, and didn’t want to go to church. She’s a follower, and she chose to follow a tough crowd. For two years, we had a very tenuous relationship with her. The only contact we had was through sporadic text messages. We didn’t know where she was sleeping, or if she had food to eat. We worried for her safety. She admitted to using drugs. Through this difficult time, the only thing we could do was pray and let her know that we still loved her. Praise God, she is now married with a family of her own, and we talk often.

Perhaps you struggle with how to manage your time, or how to relate to your teenager, or how to deal with those thorny issues in your marriage. God knows all about your struggles. He knows Satan is out to destroy you.  God doesn’t want that. God wants to help you defeat Satan in your daily living so that you can live the abundant life he planned for you.

One of the hardest battles we fight as Christians is against our sinful nature. Paul calls us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, “holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1, 2). D.L. Moody is credited with saying, “The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar.” May God grant that we quit crawling away!

Paul describes the battle very well in Romans 7. He explains that the law reveals sin. When we know it is sinful to covet, we suddenly want everything we are not supposed to have. We crave the junk food with empty calories.  We want clothes like our friend has, though we can’t afford them.  We go into debt to purchase a sports car so that people will think well of us. The list goes on.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).

According to Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, a ministry for university students), a new Christian described this conflict as a dog fight between a black dog (sin) and a white dog (obeying God). When asked which dog wins, he answered, “The dog that wins is the one I feed and the dog that loses is the one I starve.”

Romans 13:14 challenges us, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” The only way to resist our sinful flesh is to say no (die to it, or starve it) and choose to follow Jesus instead. Colossians 3 says, “put to death … whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (verse 5), and then goes on to tell us to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (verse 12).

If you have ever tried to NOT think about something, you know it’s just about impossible. Just as you can fill a glass with water to get rid of the air, so you have to allow the Holy Spirit to fill you to eliminate your sinful nature.

Satan knows our weaknesses and will attack in those areas. Say “no” to temptations and then choose to fill that void with godly characteristics and choices that are pleasing to God. If you fall, remember, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). So, get up and keep on wrestling.

Think About It

With what areas are you wrestling today? What godly characteristic or choices can you choose to work on instead? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you know the areas that I struggle with in my life. Help me today to say “no” to temptation.  Help me to work on filling that void with godly characteristics and choices, instead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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