Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7.
There are those who recklessly place themselves in scenes of danger and peril, and expose themselves to temptations, out of which it would require a miracle of God to bring them unharmed and untainted. These are presumptuous acts, with which God is not pleased. Satan’s temptation to the Saviour of the world to cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple, was firmly met and resisted. The archenemy quoted a promise of God as security, that Christ might with safety do this on the strength of the promise. Jesus met this temptation with Scripture: “It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” In the same way Satan urges men into places where God does not require them to go, presenting Scripture to justify his suggestions.
The precious promises of God are not given to strengthen man in a presumptuous course, or for him to rely upon when he rushes needlessly into danger…. We are required, as children of God, to maintain the consistency of our Christian character. We should exercise prudence, caution, and humility, and walk circumspectly toward them that are without. Yet we are not in any case to surrender principle.
Our only safety is in giving no place to the devil; for his suggestions and purposes are ever to injure us, and hinder us from relying upon God. He transforms himself into an angel of purity, that he may, through his specious temptations, introduce his devices in such a manner that we may not discern his wiles. The more we yield, the more powerful will be his deceptions over us. It is unsafe to controvert or to parley with him. For every advantage we give the enemy, he will claim more. Our only safety is to reject firmly the first insinuation to presumption. God has given us grace through the merits of Christ sufficient to withstand Satan, and be more than conquerors. Resistance is success. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Resistance must be firm and steadfast. We lose all we gain if we resist today only to yield tomorrow.61The Review and Herald, April 8, 1880.