"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you." - James 4:7-8 (NLT)
According to the wisdom of Proverbs, our thoughts determine our reality, "for as a person thinketh, so is he/she." According to the Buddha, what you think you become; what you feel you attract; what you imagine you create. According to the disciples of Higher Consciousness, we don't attract what we want; we attract what we are.
These maxims say to me that no one's reality is immutably pre-determined. God calls us to be transformers (not conformers) of the world by the renewing of our minds. The universe in which we live is full of various expressions of reality, and the realities we accept are determined by our thoughts and actions. We choose the reality we resist, and we choose the reality we embrace.
The attitudes and actions we take to resist the realities we choose to reject are just as important as the attitudes and actions we take to manifest the realities we choose to embrace. The philosopher Edmund Burke said: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [people] to do nothing." Conscientious resistance of abject despair is necessary to embrace the bright vistas of hope. Resistance to institutional bias is essential to the establishment of social justice. Deeper love will never be realized without a steadfast resistance to prideful exclusion.
We are often pretty clear about the realities we seek to bring into being. But are we as clear about what must be diligently resisted before that which is desired is manifested?
Neither evil nor righteousness is inevitable. The triumph of one over the other is greatly determined by what we consciously resist, and by what we consciously embrace.
Lord, for diligence to resist evil, and for devotion to draw close to you, I pray. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.