“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
“Not today, devil!” is a popular saying printed on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs. While we can applaud the sentiment, believers need to seek biblical truth over pithy sayings. So, what does Scripture say about resisting the devil?
The Bible declares that sin no longer has authority over the life of those who are born-again. Romans 6:14 clearly states, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” This doesn’t mean, however, that Satan leaves us alone and no longer targets us with temptation. He still presents us with worldly desires that appeal to our flesh.
A critical element missing in much of mainline preaching is the role of fully submitting to God in order to effectively overcome the devil’s attacks. Satan has no fear of us. More importantly, we have no defense against him in and of ourselves. That’s why James 4:7 instructs believers to, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Before we can say, “No” to the devil, we must say, “Yes” to God! It is Jesus Who gives us the victory. He fights our battles. He shields us from the arrows and assaults of the enemy. Claiming the promise of victory without submitting to the person of victory is like having a gun with no bullets. Before you can say, “Not today devil” with any real confidence, you have to say, “Yes today God” with a sincere and submissive heart.