By Marilynn Chadwick
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resistthe devil, and he will flee from you.”
—James 4:7 NIV
Learning to resist the devil is the key to victory in spiritual warfare. God's Word is fundamental in our fight. So is prayer. But we can't beat the devil unless we resist.
According to Webster’s, to resist is defined as "to exert force in opposition." Spiritual victory requires muscle. James coaches us to take a forceful stand against temptation while asserting our wills to obey. Nowhere is this twin admonition more clear than in James 4:7:
“Place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you” (GW).
God’s Word carefully outlines the spiritual nature of our battle. We're told to be alert to the devil's schemes and take up our weapons of war. James points out that we can't resist the devil without first submitting our wills to God.
Let’s take another look at James 4:7: "Place yourselves under God's authority." Authority. Not popular in some circles. But you can't expect to experience the power of God's Word in battle unless you're under its authority.
Victory in our spiritual battles depends on our submission to God's authority. This in turn builds spiritual strength against the devil, or "resistance." Much like strengthening the body to build resistance to disease.
Spiritual battles are won before the moment of temptation. When I spend time in God's Word and I’m faithful in prayer, I strengthen my resistance.
Physical resistance training involves pushing against a source of resistance, such as a weight, to increase one's strength. Spiritual resistance is the same.
What steps can you take to build your spiritual resistance? When the daily temptations come, remember to "exert force in opposition." God's promise is clear. If you do this, the devil will eventually flee from you. You may discover that the very attack that was designed to bring you down has actually made you stronger.
Lord, I am praying now that your Holy Spirit will make me more alert to the devil's schemes. I am reminded that victory is won before the moment of trial. I submit to your Word and commit to building my resistance. Above all, I trust you for the victory.
Experience the transforming power of hearing God's voice
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