In this article and accompanying video, I will teach you how to resist the devil. Yes, you have a real adversary. I am talking about Satan and his principalities, powers, demonic forces, and even spiritual wickedness in high places. But you also have been given everything in the Word you need to be able to resist him. You have authority in Jesus name. You have the written Word. You have the Spirit of Almighty God inside of you. James 4:7 NKJV “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
We resist the devil when we…
- Submit our Life Completely to God.
James doesn’t just tell us to just resist the devil. There is something that we must do before we can actually resist him. This verse has a qualifier. James 4:7 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” If you don’t want to do the first half of the verse. Don’t be foolish enough to think that you can do the second half of the verse. We must submit to God. If The enemy will not flee from you, if you are not submitted to God.
If you have attempted to resist the devil and seem to lack authority it may be that you are not fully submitted to God. Obviously, one needs to be a born-again believer in order to be able to resist the devil. Here are some diagnostic questions to ask yourself:
- Are the one who is still sitting on the throne of your life?
- Are you making all the decisions according to what you think is best?
- Are you walking in obedience to God?
- Are there areas of continual and ongoing sin that you participate in?
- Are you consulting the Word and attempting to put it into practice?
- Are you asking God for guidance by the Holy Spirit?
- Are your finances submitted to Christ?
- Are you honoring those in Christ who have authority over you?
Without submission you have no authority. There are people who wonder why they feel like they have no authority over the enemy. It is because they have not submitted to God. They allow Satan to have a place in their life. You can open a door to the enemy by the lies you believe, and things that you do and say. Do not give a place for the enemy to have access to your mind and heart. Ephesians 4:27 “nor give place to the devil.”
In other words, a person must understand that God’s will and God’s purpose for our lives is more important than our desires and our wills. It is putting God first. It is living for Jesus instead of living for ourselves. Submit yourselves to God.
Obedience is the foundation of living a life free of satanic influence. None of us are perfect and I am not talking about trying to live up to the requirements of the law, but I am talking about surrendering your will to and walking in obedience to what He has told you to do both by His Spirit and by what He has revealed to you in the Bible.
James says to submit to God. Start by taking inventory of your life. Ask the Lord if there is any area of your life that is not under submission to Him. And then, surrender those things to Him and submit to His will in your life.
We resist the devil when we…
- Wash our Minds with the Word of God
We must allow God to wash Satan’s influence from our minds. I want you to realize that your mind has been systematically programmed just by walking through the world. There are three battle fronts every believer has, the flesh, the devil, and the world. And the bible tells us that the world is under the sway of the wicked one. Every time you watch television or go to the movies the prince of the power of the air has attempted to control what your values will be. Hollywood’s values are not necessarily God’s values. When you listen to music the prince of the power of the air has tried to mimic the emotion he wants you to live with. When you see billboards or walk through stores, Satan is trying to tell you all that you need to be fulfilled and happy. You Tube and Facebook and other social media often promote values that are not biblical.
The Bible says in 1 John 5:19 “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” The world is underneath satanic and demonic influence.
Here are some examples of how the enemy programs our minds through the world’s values:
- The world will tell you that you can’t possibly be happy unless you drive a certain kind of car, live in a huge house, and maintain a lifestyle of constant pleasure and travel. That is a lie, because the Word says that “a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of things he possesses.”
- The world will tell you that unless you have some mind-altering substance you don’t even know how to have a good time. Is there anyone who can just have a good time watching the Rockets win? (I am from Houston and the Rockets are currently the number one NBA team.) Is there anyone who can just enjoy a sunset with the family? Is there anyone who experienced happiness just laughing around the dinner table with the family? You don’t need to chemically alter the state of your mind. Really, that is a lie, because In his presence is fullness of joy.
- The world will tell you that you just don’t feel at peace unless you smoke a little weed or have a half a dozen cocktails to wind down. You just need a little stress reliever. You have to unwind, otherwise I just worry. Let Jesus be your stress reliever. Your mind has been deceived. Because Jesus said, “My peace I give unto you.” Don’t be anxious for anything, but in prayer and supplication, let your request be made known unto God, and the peace of God that passes all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
- The world will tell you, pleasure is cheating on your wife, cheating on your husband. God says that you don’t need to even be married to have a full life of love and service and joy. You can be single and happy. The Word says that if you are in a marriage, real meaning and significance comes from being faithful to your covenant vows.
- The world will tell you, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. That is a lie, what happens in Vegas, is written in the books in heaven, unless it gets covered by the blood.
Do you see what I am saying, our minds have been programmed by the prince of this world. That is why we must renew our minds. It is through His Word, the Bible, that we begin to clean up our minds, washing away our evil thoughts and motives. Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV “….just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
God’s Word is the instrument Christ uses—through the power of the Holy Spirit—to wash away Satan’s influences from our thinking. That is why you need to be in church to hear the Word proclaimed. That is why a daily time in the word will wash away the programming of the enemy.
Have you ever had a hard day working in the yard? It feels so good to get clean when you take that shower. The same is true in the spiritual world.
- Pick up the Authority that God gave to us.
Authority isn’t yours until you take it or pick it up and use it. Have you ever seen a 3 year old child take authority and tell his mother that she is going to buy him something in the store? Hopefully, the mother will know who actually has authority. If mom is getting pushed around by a 3 year old, it is because she is not using her authority. She needs to understand she can say, no, not today and even discipline the child appropriately if she so desires.
You have been given authority. That authority does not rest in your strength, personal holiness, power, or abilities. That authority is in you because you are in relationship with Jesus. Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Until Jesus Christ returns to the earth we are bearers of his authority. Demons must submit to you and I not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Sickness must submit to you and I not because of who we are, but because of the authority of Jesus.
What we do, we do in the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is like a badge. It carries authority. Many years ago, I was watching my wife’s favorite television show, Andy Griffith, and Barney Fife, the deputy discovered a couple of rogue farmers out at the edge of town selling vegetables in a way that was unlawful. So Barney tells them to leave, And old Barney Fife gets badly beaten up in a verbal way. Well he goes back and he holds his ground. He stands up to them, not with his authority, but with the authority of the badge. If you would like to see Barney use authority you can watch the Youtube video below.
That is exactly what resisting the devil looks like for you and me. He did not allow himself to be intimidated. He stood strong. He didn’t back up. He pointed to his badge. He said this badge represents a lot of people who are bigger than me.
When you stand against the enemy. You stand and resist him in the name of Jesus. You do not need to back up. Just use your badge, the mighty name of Jesus! He is a lot bigger than the enemy and has already defeated him. When you use His Name you are using a name that is higher than any other name.
Philippians 2:9 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,”
- That name has defeated sin.
- That name has defeated Satan.
- That name has defeated demonic possession and power.
- That name has overcome the grave.
- That name has overcome death.
- That name has overcome hell.
And that is why we have authority. All authority in heaven and in earth has been given to Jesus!
Resist the devil and he will flee!
Matthew 10 :1 NASB says “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” You have been given the same authority they have been given.
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.”
4. Use the Word against him.
The most effective you will ever be when you resist the enemy is when you use the Word against him. Jesus is known as the Living Word. How amazing that the Living Word gave us an example to follow by using the written Word!
In Luke chapter 4 we have the account of when Jesus went up into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He had been fasting and praying for 40 days. The enemy came to him as he was walking through that desert. There must have been a rock that was shaped like a loaf of bread. The devil says to him, if you are the Son of God, why don’t you turn this stone into bread.
I want you to notice what Jesus did. He used a powerful phrase. A phrase every believer, every Christian ought to know and use very frequently! Jesus said, It is written. Luke 4:4 NKJV ““It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” In other words, he resisted Satan and his temptation with the word of God.
Then the devil took him to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world at one time.
He said, I will give you all these kingdoms if you will but bow down and worship me. But once again Jesus had a Word for him. He had a scripture prepared. Luke 4:8 “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
And then a third time, Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple, and this time, he tried to twist the Word and make it say something it didn’t. The enemy was twisting scripture by saying it is written.
“He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’ 11 and,
‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
In other words, he was saying, “Jump off, you won’t get hurt.” Doesn’t it say his angels will protect you? Jesus was prepared and although it doesn’t say that he said, it is written. He does quote Deuteronomy 6:16 as he says in Luke 4:12 ““It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
What do we learn from Jesus? The word is a weapon. A thief may not back up from you if you don’t have a weapon. The bible calls your enemy a thief. John 10:10 says that “The thief comes not but for to kill and to steal and to destroy.” If a thief is trying to rob you, you resist him with a weapon. You have a weapon. That is why Paul said in Ephesians 6, “Taking the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
When the enemy comes against you, you need to be armed and dangerous. Memorize the word! The best part of this whole teaching is that he will flee. It doesn’t say, that will just slink off. It doesn’t say, he will stand there forever deceiving and lying and trying to tempt you. It says he will flee. Resist the devil and he will flee. You are not weaponless. You are not with our authority. You have the name of Jesus. You have submitted yourself to God. You have washed your mind with the Word so much it has become a weapon.
You can stand up and say, “Out of my life! Out of my church! Out of my family!” I resist you in Jesus name!
Resist the devil and he will flee!