Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Earlier we talked about submission to God as a thing which must be done willingly and voluntarily. Now James tells us that there is something else we must do, and that is to resist the Devil. Now it is time for another short grammar lesson! In this case, the term “resist” is an imperative. There is the implication that nothing passive is going on here, but that we are being directed to actively and purposely resist the temptations of the Devil. In other words, there are actions we can and should take to resist.
This theme of active resistance to the Devil appears elsewhere in God’s Word. The Apostle Peter had something to say about it himself.
1 Peter 5:8,9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
What things do we need to do in order to resist the Devil?
Put on the full armor of God as contained in Ephesians 6:8-10
Prepare with the Word of God as our Lord Jesus Christ did during his temptations in the desert.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve
After that, in Verse 11 we see that Satan left from the presence of Jesus. This clearly teaches that in the face of a person well prepared with the Word of God, the Devil will flee.
Our adversary, Satan, is very powerful. He is certainly more powerful than the individual Christian. We are called and directed to resist him, but notice that it is never by our own strength that we resist. We rely on God’s armor, God’s Word, and prayer TO God for our strength in this battle. If we resist the Devil with those things as our arsenal, Satan will have no choice but to flee.