In the fall of 2008, three powerful hurricanes tore through Cuba. Whole towns were destroyed by winds and rain, and the beautiful mountainous region of the island was hit hard. We found many trees had fallen along the roads. But along those same roads many palms, surprisingly, stood straight and appeared almost untouched.
The steadfastness of the roadside palms in the face of those massive storms is similar to a Christian opposing Satan and sin.
In this life there are storms that can shake our world. There are temptations that would have us abandon our faith altogether. Jesus knows this. He faced those temptations. In fact, He was offered all the kingdoms of the world if He would just bow down to Satan (Matthew 4:8-10). He resisted, relying on the Word of God as His ultimate defence.
This is a perfect model for our own daily resistance against temptations to sin.
Like the storms that pound the earth, the devil is always seeking our destruction. We can resist, however, by the power of the Holy Spirit as we are firmly rooted in the Word of God. Just as Jesus prefaced His rebuke of the devil in the desert with “It is written,” so must we rely on Scripture when we are struggling with sin and our corrupt flesh.
The letter of James says it best: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Let us surrender to the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and minds, providing us the strength-like those palms-to face the storms of life.
THE PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for Your Word. Help us to be listeners and doers of the Word. Lead us to stand firm in our faith and take heart in knowing our brothers and sisters in Christ are also contending for the cross. Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: This devotion is based on a text submitted by Yamilka Hernández Guzmán. She is a volunteer with Cristo Para Todas las Naciones (CPTLN), which means “Christ for All Nations.” She is a member of the Lutheran Church in Cuba.