By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Resist the devil, one of the principal titles of Satan, the arch-enemy of God and of man, is on tract when one highlights the word "Resist" and implements action to do so!
Satan rebelled against God leading other angels into rebellion with him (2 Peter 2:4). Scripture reveals: That old serpent called the devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world was cast out to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Revelation 12:9).
The devil is a being of supernatural power with his principle method of attack being temptation which began through the serpent in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1). Scripture issues a warning: Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has but a short time (Revelation 12:11).
His power is limited and can only go as far as God permits; as evidenced in the case of Job (Job 1:12). On Judgment Day he will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).
Scripture reveals: Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Resist the devil indicates one is not to submit to fear, or flee from the devil, but rather stand against him. He cannot lead one into sin against their will; but can create strong inducement to do so, by attacking one at their weakest point.
When a army attacks an enemy it always strives to find their weakest point; then attack at that point in effort to overcome them. It is no different with the enemy of one's soul (or Satan). He always seeks to find the right bait to lure one in; as in the case of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Through the serpent, as Satan's instrument of deception, he introduced the forbidden fruit as being good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and to make one wise (Genesis 3:6). Adam and Eve did not RESIST the devil but rather gave in to the temptation placed before them.
An evaluation process of the mind came into focus, at the point of temptation, knowing what God had commanded: Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die (Genesis 3:3).
The serpent immediately countermanded with: You shall not surely die. For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5). Had they resist the devil; the state of the world today would have been different, for sin would not have been a factor.
Scripture gives a warning: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). A lion is known for its strength and cunning towards taking out its victim; and the devil is no less cunning in his malice towards the saints of God.
We are living in an age of deception; through the convenience of an electronic age that helps nurturer the ungodliness of man, by making the forbidden fruit of today appealing. Unless the believer adheres to God's Word one can easily become ensnared by such inducement!
Scripture tells one to resist sinful enticement, in saying: If sinners entice you, consent not (Proverbs 1:10). It takes a stronger person to RESIST than to partake! It takes the godliness of man to offset the ungodliness of this world.
Adam and Eve suffered the consequences for sin and rebellion against God; as mankind today faces a similar fate, unless one's sin is covered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin!
Scripture reveals: The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9).
Scripture reveals: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are experienced by your brethren (other saints of God) that are in the world (1 Peter 5:9). To resist the devil is to fight against, oppose, refuse to partake, and withstand.
Scripture then provides a promise to those who RESIST: The God of all grace, who has called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:10).
Scripture admonishes the believer to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11)
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:12-13). The whole armor of God includes:
Being girded about with truth; having on the breastplate of righteousness; shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; the shield of faith, so that one may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (or the devil). Having on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:14-18).
Such is provided, so that the saint of God may RESIST the devil, with the assurance of God's Word that he will flee from you (James 4:7)! One is further encouraged of the fact that our weapons of warfare are not carnal (or of the flesh), but mighty through God to the tearing down of strongholds; casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Scripture encourages the believer to RESIST impurity, in saying: Present your members not as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but present yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead (or dead to sin), and your members as instruments of righteousness to God (Romans 6:13).
In the believers day-to-day confrontations with sin, one is not to give in but RESIST with a determination to be an Overcomer! Jesus said: To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7).
He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white garments (representing purity): and I will not blot his name out of the book of life (the list of the saved of all ages) (Revelation 3:5).
I have read this Scripture many times: Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). I have often quoted it; but recently the word "RESIST" stood out, with the Lord laying it upon my heart to bring it to the attention of others as well!
Many today no longer RESIST because of allowing the world to be more of an influence than the Word of God! They have allowed its precepts, pleasures, and ungodliness to come into focus; with such words as "acceptability and tolerance" to be more of an influence.
Less importance has been placed on such terms as: Sanctification (being set apart unto God), Righteousness (doing that which is right in the sight of God), and Holiness (without which no man shall see the Lord) (Hebrews 12:14). Let us pray for a return to God, and His Word, before it is too late!