Is this true? Is it this simple–Just Say No and the devil will flee?? I’ve heard this Scripture in James 4:7 quoted many times. I’ve quoted it many times as a solution to the temptations and arrows that Satan throws at us! Is this as simple as it seems?
So, I am tempted to do something and I am supposed to resist the devil and he’s going to run? Is that it? Is it that simple? Many times we do try to resist the devil and we think it’s as easy as doing the “I Dream of Genie” blink of an eye and poof the devil is gone or if we just pray harder then the devil will be gone.
Is that all there is to it?
We forget that in verse 7 there is a prerequisite and then a follow up in order for the devil to flee. In James 4:7, 8, the Scripture says,
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites.”
So, in order to resist the devil, there is a three step process and if you include verse 9,10, you will see that there is actually a 6 step process in making the devil run.
So humble yourselves before God…….
What does it mean to humble yourselves? In the dictionary, it is defined as:
hum·ble [huhm-buhl, uhm–] adjective
1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.
In explaining it to my family, it’s kneeling down to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in knowing that we are nothing without Him.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you……
re·sist [ri-zist]verb (used with object)
1.to withstand, strive against, or oppose: to resist infection; to resist temptation.
2.to withstand the action or effect of: to resist spoilage.
3.to refrain or abstain from, especially with difficulty or reluctance!
To resist is to strive against the devil. It’s humbling yourself before God and it’s removing yourself from the situation your are being tempted in. It’s quoting Scripture into the face of the enemy as he messes with your mind. It’s removing yourself from those who do the tempting in your life(friends, etc.).
Sometimes, we really don’t want to resist the devil because it just feels too good. But note, when we stand against the devil, it doesn’t say he might flee from you, but it says he will flee from you.
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.
Immediately after standing against God, seek God….get in the Word, Worship, and Prayer. This is an act of thanksgiving for God helping you to flee from the devil. Many times, we stop at “resist the devil and he will flee from you” without anymore thought of the God who just helped. So, are you immediately drawing close to God through the Word, Worship, and Prayer? This is the importance of a personal time with God because I am just betting that most of the time when you are tempted you are not going to have access to the church building where we equate where the presence of God is. Reality is, your home is just as holy as the auditorium at church. Christ resides in you which means you are always on Holy Ground and He is always accessible 24/7.
Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites…..
Temptation is not a sin, but following through by acting on the sin is sin, but when it comes to temptation, what caused you/I to get in that situation of temptation in the first place. It’s not always an outward act of rebellion, but it may be inward in the fact that it is in our minds and hearts that lead us to the temptation, so is there anything that, through this process, you/I need to seek forgiveness?
The only way to draw close to God is to make sure our hearts are pure. Remember, God cannot be in the presence of sin.
Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor. James 4:9,10
Weep and Repent.
Today in our society, saying sin is sin is taboo. We’ve allowed sin to be okay because we have the grace of God, but in all reality it hurts God. Weeping and repenting is a sincere desire to make things right to God and to turn from our wicked ways.
Bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence……
We are nothing without Christ. Read Philippians about Paul’s allegiance and dependence on Christ. If you are independently living from Christ, you are not a believer because the Scriptures say that “apart from Christ we can do nothing” (John 15:5)
Literally, BOW DOWN and admit your dependence. In a culture where we are #1, this is one of the most difficult things for us to do, but in order for the devil to really flee, this is a condition.
So, is it true that if I just resist the devil, he will flee from me? Yes and No. Yes, but there are other conditions that need to be met in order for this to happen and it’s essentially a dependence on Him. No, in the fact that you just can’t resist him or that temptation will always haunt you. When we say “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” is a false assurance that he’s not going to attack again or everything is okay.
In our American Christianity, we have become lazy. We aren’t prepared our willing to take the steps necessary for God to move. If it doesn’t happen in the confines of a Sunday morning service aka “magic pill”, then we think it’s not worth it, but being a believer takes effort….it takes work, so don’t fool yourselves that one statement will take care of your problems. There are strings attached.
I pray this helps as you will encounter temptation every day………Let’s see revival happen by taking these steps of true repentance and really see Satan flee.