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Don't Fold Them

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”- James 4:7

Recently the Lord has given me an illustration that I have used in multiple conversations to remind and inspire people of the strength and victory that we have in Jesus. The picture I was given is of a person playing the card game POKER. To be even more precise, it is in Christ that we are holding a WINNING HAND. Much like when people say things like, “If I ever won the lottery…not that I have or would ever play it”, I feel with sharing this type of example I must give a disclaimer: I do not gamble and want to be sensitive in comparing the spiritual riches and realities we have been given in Christ to something as trivial as a card game. But there is no denying that there is a power and victory that we possess that we need to play. I John 5:4-5 tells us, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

When I have spoken with people who are feeling a bit discouraged, bombarded by spiritual attack, and uncertain of an outcome in life, I have pointed them to this poker illustration to shine a light and spark a faith fuse in their hearts. The premise is this: In the midst of our faith walk and the spiritual battle being waged by the enemy (Satan), we must understand that the cards he is holding in his hand cannot beat what Jesus has placed in ours! Because the devil is not all-knowing (omniscient), he believes that every hand he holds will deal a death blow to us. However, no matter what threat or what tactic he uses, we are given a greater strength to stand, to resist, and to overcome. As I John 4:4 tells us, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” If the devil holds a pair of 10’s, we hold three-of-a-kind; if the enemy has a full house, we hold a royal flush. The devil thinks he has everything and we have nothing, and the exact opposite is the case.

Ultimately, the only way the enemy can ever gain the upper hand in an area of our lives is if we allow his “bluff” to cause us to “fold”. A “bluff” is when a card player has a poor hand, but in fact pretends to have a great one. They look calm and confident in what they possess. They even bid a higher amount in an attempt to confuse and intimidate their opponent. They are hoping that the other player will “fold”. To fold means that you GIVE UP what is your hand and give the victory to your opponent. This is really the devil’s only play, so let me clearly and emphatically say to you, “Don’t play the devil’s game”. Ephesians 4:27 tells us, “Do not give the devil a foothold.” And John 10:10 says of the devil, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

In the midst of every difficulty and dire circumstance, it is of the utmost importance to remember that Jesus is the answer for each hand we are dealt by providing the winning hand for it. The enemy will keep bluffing you in attempts to make you question things like: God’s existence; God’s nature; God’s concern in a specific matter; Your identity in and relationship with God; Your worth; and even Your righteous standing before God. The enemy is constantly working to get you to question God’s love, to stop you from approaching Him in prayer, and ultimately to separate your fellowship with Father God. Please be confident this day that even though the enemy is constantly working our God is constantly winning! Live in that promise, stand in that power, move in that confidence, and push your winning hand to the middle of the table and in doing so you will push back our already defeated enemy. Let’s apply the encouraging words of Paul in II Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but love, power, and a sound mind.”

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