“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jam 4:7)
This is a command for the believers in Christ: you must be engaged in spiritual warfare. You cannot gain new territories (for Christ) and new blessings (for you) without warfare against the devil. Fear not! The devil is a spiritual (therefore invisible) person. He works thru the flesh. He deceives and tempts you. But in Christ, the victory is sure!
The works of the flesh as described in a new translation of the Bible called ‘The Message’ are as follows:
“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on… (Gal 5:19-21; TM)
The Lord Jesus Christ said that ‘the flesh profits nothing’ (Jn 6:63). The flesh is that part of the human body that it is not under the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit. In Greek, the word ‘profit’ means something that is useful, helpful, gives you an advantage so that you prevail against your opponents. The spiritual ‘profit’ makes your life better. The flesh is the opposite of this. Therefore, a man who lives in the flesh is a failure and a tragedy. The unbeliever or the fleshly backslider is a useless spouse or friend. He (she) cannot help you, cannot impact your life for better, cannot pray or counsel you. No matter his level of education or the wealth he has, a man who lives only to please his flesh is an enemy to God and a liability to any relationship. Avoid such a man!
Read the command again! Memorize it! Your spirit must digest it! You are commanded to resist the devil as a person. This is a personal battle, as ‘man to man’. You cannot hide among the other soldiers. You have to do it yourself! You cannot delegate it to another person. Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit you must prepare and fight the good fight of faith yourself! The word ‘resist’ is a positional command given to a soldier. Your Officer in charge (the Lord Jesus Christ) commands you to stand in a clear, fearless and open resistance against the devil. This is a standing and not a falling. Practically it means that you should expose and reject all lies and all deceptions that ‘come to you’. You cannot reject all lies that ‘fly’ over your head, but it is your duty to instantly ‘kill’ any lie that comes to you directly thru people, being them friends or enemies. You need to be alert and strong! God will help you!
For you to be able to resist the Devil who is the Liar, the Deceiver, the Slanderer or the False Prophet, you must be in the right position, spiritually speaking. You must be born again, Spirit filled and walking in the Spirit. You must be totally submitted to God, to His Word and to His Spirit. The word ‘submit’ means that you abide, that you dwell un-interrupted in Christ alone. You habitually obey the Word of God. You have repented of all known sin and you are ready and willing to repent of any other sin as revealed by the Holy Spirit. It means that you have found your identity and purpose in Christ alone. God’s perfect will is manifesting in your life with fruit to prove your identity as a child of God. You are a strong Christian, established in the doctrines of the faith. You chose to submit to God and to all the authorities God has given you as spiritual covering, to which you chose to be accountable. It means that you reject all forms of empty religion, rebellion and selfishness. From this established in the faith position, you now detect and instantly resist your enemy, the devil. This resisting is done thru the power of the Holy Spirit, thru the proclamation of the Word of God, thru prayer and pleading the Blood of Jesus over you.
How long will you resist? Until the promise of God manifests: until the same devil that attacked you flees from you. The word ‘flee’ means to vanish, to disappear or to melt away. This is very important: you do not stop resisting the deceiver until he completely disappears from your spiritual radar, until the lies have been totally silenced and affect you no more. The resisting may be long. But the fleeing comes in an instant. The victory is always very clear and very sweet to your spirit. It manifests as sudden destruction of old standing bondages, as healing of the body, peace and joy in your soul. The victory brings a higher level of spiritual authority and confidence in your ministry. The Holy Spirit will witness to that. You shall see it and others shall see it. This victory cannot be hidden! The vision shall surely speak at last! Glory to God! Glory to God!! Glory to God!!!