Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We are witnessing more and more people under pressure and stress. It is not only heads of corporations, or people in high-level positions. Young people, teenagers, college students, and single mothers are experiencing more and more pressure. I believe the very young are seeing more stress than ever before. We are seeing younger people committing suicide and having a number of stressed related disorders because they do not know how to let go and have peace.
Stress can be a good thing in short spurts; it is something that can motivate and help us in tight situations. However, when stress continues over a long period of time the body then becomes anxious. This means the body becomes full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune. Anxiety is not a good place to stay; this is why God tells us not to be anxious; our bodies were not designed to stay in a state of anxiety. We are to bring everything that is a concern to us to God and allow Him to handle what we cannot.
God tells us to cast all our anxieties and cares on Him. Then it says for us to be on the alert, to be clear-headed; to understand this, your enemy the devil is lurking around like a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour. Some may remember the old game “Mother May I” it was played by children and the key in this game is to ask for permission to do something and before they could move they had to ask, mother may I.
They enemy does the same thing looking for someone who will give him permission to come into their lives to devour them. We give him permission by the choices we make in disobedience to God. One of the ways a lion captures its prey is with his roar. The roar is so loud and intimidating that it paralyzes the prey and they become an easy target. The word of God is clear and tells us we do not have to give the enemy permission to come into our lives. The choices we make will allow us to stand on God’s word in the battle or to give in to the lies of this world but it is these choices that will determine the outcome of the battle.
God tells us how to resist the devil, by submitting to the truth of His word. It is a one-step process when we submit to God we also are resisting the devil and he will flee. Most of us do not take the time to know God’s word, so we do not know how to submit to it. This is how the devil gets permission to come into our lives because of our lack of knowledge concerning God’s word. When the enemy roars like a lion we become afraid, panic and thereby paralyzed by fear instead of casting that fear, those concerns and anxieties on God in prayer.
1 Peter 5:7-9 Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (KJV)
James 4: 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NIV)