“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
“And the devil will flee from you…”
I want that! That sounds so good. I really want that.
How can we do that?
The writer of James tells us, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
The million dollar question is, “How can I resist the devil?” Because, you see, I don’t seem to do a very good job at resisting the devil. In fact, my track record in resisting the devil is not very promising.
The devil has a tool up his sleeve that seems to get me more times than I would like to admit. It’s called temptation. And the thing about temptation is that I have yet to meet a temptation I don’t like. In fact, most temptations, I really, really like.
If temptations tasted like cauliflower, looked like a pile of dung, felt like stepping on a lego with bare feet I would never be tempted by temptations.
But that’s not how temptations work for me. My temptations never taste like cauliflower, look like a pile of dung, or feel terrible. At least, for the moment, my temptations taste awesome, look awesome, and feel awesome.
That’s the problem with temptations. How am I supposed to resist that?
Aha! Here’s the key. It’s not about me trying to resist the temptations of the devil so much as it is about submitting myself to God. The power isn’t in me. The power is in God. The key to resisting the temptations of the devil is not me trying harder, but me submitting to God.
When we submit to God, we resist the devil. And when the devil comes across people submitted to God, the devil flees.