“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
The pre-requisite is clearly stated, “Submit yourselves therefore to God”. The Greek word for ‘submit’ is ‘hupotasso’ meaning, to set in array under. Ah, is not this the purpose for all of our present processings? Until every part of our will bows to the will of God, and then we are able to resist the devil and he must flee from us. Fully set in array under the hand of God leaves us as ‘untouchable’ to all other forces. “My Father, – is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand,” (John 10:29).
Submitted, set in array under God, does require chastening to bring about such a submission. “Shall we much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live,” (Heb. 12:9). This is an individual challenge. He is my Father, and my submission to Him is essential if I shall ever truly LIVE. Too many only exist, torn between their own desires, and what they know to be right in God. To resist the circumstance, which He plans for our proving, is to resist the God who planned the circumstance. But as we learn to submit to Him in all things, then are we able to begin resisting the devil.
The word ‘resist’ means ‘to set’ or ‘place over against’. This is easily illustrated in the realm of our thinking. To be sure, God has been, and is dealing much with the ‘mind’, for we shall be “transformed by the renewing of our mind”. The mind has long been the battleground as evil forces seek to brainwash mankind. But we find that as we PLACE TRUTH, a positive thought over against every negative thought that arises, we gain the victory over the negative realm. Deliberately place positive thoughts over against the negative. This action is prompted and enabled by the indwelling of His Spirit. The strength for this work is His but we, through His enablement, “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling”, (Phil. 2:12).