Daily Devotional – Jan 06, 2024

Daily Devotional – Jan 06, 2024
December 15, 2023 Lighthouse Network


Begin with two minutes of silence. Breathe deeply while you focus on the words based on John 15:5 –
“You are the vine… and I am a branch.”


James 4:2
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…

Ephesians 4: 25-27
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.


Birds, Fleas and Temptation
Martin Luther once observed, “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building nests in your hair.”

Luther was on target in reminding us that, in a fallen world, temptation will come, but that temptation does not equal sin. It is what we DO with the temptation that turns it into sin. When we hold on to the thought, especially when we nurse it, we get in trouble.

Yet, Luther’s observation doesn’t go quite far enough. One might add, “And when you know the birds are coming, go inside!” Arranging our lives so that we are not as likely to fail and fall is also part of self-control.

That includes being mindful of the people we surround ourselves with, the places we go, and the exposure we have to media, social and otherwise. Part of “resisting the devil” is developing a strategy that includes setting up our environment for success.

Psychologist Benjamin Hardy illustrates the principle with fleas, writing, “We know that when there is no lid on the jar, the fleas can easily jump out… the rules of the environment change.”

If we are to resist temptation we must take seriously that our surroundings influence our behavior.

We must also focus on our environment continually. Resisting temptation is not a one-time affair. Hardy continues, “…When the lid is on the jar, the fleas become trained not to jump so high. Three days later, when the lid is removed, the fleas remain at the lowered height and do not jump.”

Though it may seem like a cute way to make a point, Hardy is appealing to research. It turns out that the behavior of fleas teach a hopeful lesson – resisting temptation becomes easier the more we do it.

The Scripture encourages us to “train in righteousness.” Not leaving room for the enemy is part of that training.

Repeated resistance will increase our success – by building a strategy of resistance, we can train our brain to resemble the mind of Christ.


Questions to Consider

  1. What is the sin that is most likely to “entangle” you today?
  2. Are there strategies you can you do to give it less likelihood of taking hold?


Psalm 31 is a prayer for deliverance. Use it to express your thoughts and heart to God.

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge.
Let me never be ashamed.
Because you are righteous, deliver me!

2 Listen to me,
and deliver me quickly.
Become a rock of safety for me,
a fortified citadel to deliver me;

3 For you are my rock and my fortress;
for the sake of your name guide me and lead me.

4 Rescue me from the net that they concealed to trap me;
for you are my strength.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
for you have redeemed me,
Lord God of truth.

I effectively manage those emotions and temptations that are destructive to my relationships with God, myself and others.

Rev. James R. Needham, PhD, MDiv

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