James 4:7-10: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
The first half of verse 7 is the key to the second. Without an on-going submission to God, resisting the devil will be impossible. Every ingredient for humility from here on out is worthless without submission. Failure to fully submit hinders our relationship with Christ, and therefore we leak power. It is like you spill some of the base ingredient on the counter while cooking and don’t add more; the meal won’t come out well, and there won’t be as much.
Who is the devil?
The devil thinks he is equal with God in power but isn’t even close. He stands in direct opposition to the things of God.
John 8:44: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The function of Satan and His minions today is to steal, kill, destroy. He wants to steal as much glory from God as possible. He wants to ruin your life. He wants to kill anything in you that brings you closer to God or who God designed you to be. He is ruthless and doesn’t care about you in the least. He is selfish, narcissistic, and prideful.
What does it mean to resist?
Resist means to be against, to express opposition and hostility towards something or someone. It is an active word; it implies movement.
1 Peter 5:6-9: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Submission to God before resistance. The order is important!
Once again, we look to Jesus to show us proper resistance to the devil. In His temptations, Satan presents Him many opportunities to sin.
Matthew 4 outlines Jesus’ temptation by Satan. We see in verse one how the Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness. A lonely place. Desolate. Harsh. In verse two, we learn how Jesus spent time with God to prepare to meet the devil’s temptations. Often, our resistance power is low because we don’t spend time with God. If you experience continual failure in temptations, perhaps your resistance is low. One such cause of that may be not enough time with God. Satan does his best to keep us from spiritual things. He fills our calendars, diverts our money, and surrounds us with worldly and material things to keep us from God. In verse three, Satan is trying to get Jesus to act independently of God. Jesus uses Scripture to refute every temptation Satan throws at Him. You can’t quote what you don’t know! This is why Bible study, meditation, and memorization is key to winning the fight.
Occasionally, some people proclaim, “The devil made me do it…” NO! Christian, the devil can’t make you do anything. He can tempt, he can trick, he can place things in front of you, but you still have a choice. You can’t blame the devil. We are a NEW creation in Christ. This means the old has gone, and the new has come!
Stand against the devil’s deception and efforts to intimidate you. Satan is a conquered foe, thanks to Christ’s defeat of sin and death at the cross.
Stop resisting God and start fighting Satan.
Stop believing the lies of Satan and start trusting the Word of God.
You need a well thought out plan. The devil has had thousands of years of experience and is very good at what he does. However, he cannot stand against the Word of God.
Know, meditate, return to, discuss with others, ask for help, pray scripture!
What is the result of this submission to God and active resistance of the devil?
A promise of God: Satan will flee from you! Satan will run away quickly.
Failure to resist Satan means he can stick around and harass us, entice us, and cause us all sorts of trouble and heartache. NO, CHRISTIAN! Resist him, he has NO power of you.
Ironside once said, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”
Some questions to consider:
-Why must we submit to God before trying to resist the devil?
-Why is resistance significant?
-In what ways has your will to resist been lessened?
-What can you do today to resist the devil?