Week of December 8
Are You Resisting the Devil?
…Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- James 4:7
When the devil tries to assault your mind, telling you that your God-given dream will never come to pass, how do you resist those assaults? Do you stand firm against those lies and command them to leave? Or do you allow the devil to mentally assail your mind with untrue allegations?
In James 4:7, the Bible tell us, "…Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." The word "resist" is from the Greek word anthistemi, which is a compound of the words anti and istimi. The word anti means against, as to oppose something. The word istimi means to stand. When placed into one word, thus forming the word anthistemi, it means to stand against or to stand in opposition. It is a word that demonstrates the attitude of one who is fiercely opposed to something and therefore determines that he will do everything within his power to resist it, to stand against it, and to defy its operation.
By using this word, James plainly lets us know that we must be aggressively determined to stand against the work of the devil. Just shutting our eyes and hoping the enemy will withdraw won't work. We must dig in our heels, brace ourselves for a fight, and put our full force forward to drive him back and out of our lives. Our stand against Satan must be firm, unyielding, and steadfast if we want to successfully resist his bombardment of lies against our minds and emotions.
Notice that James says we are to resist the "devil." As noted in many other Sparkling Gems, the word "devil" is the translation of the word diabalos, which is more of a job description than it is a name. You see, if you understand the word "devil," you also know exactly how this sinister enemy works.
The word "devil" is a compound of the words dia and balos. The word dia has many meanings, depending on how it is used. However, in this particular case, it means through, as to pierce something from one side all the way through to the other side. The word balos means to throw, as when a person throws a ball, a rock, or some other object. When these two words are joined, it means to repetitiously throw something - striking again and again and again until the object being struck has finally been completely penetrated.
Now do you see why this word is a vivid job description for the devil? It tells us exactly how he operates. He comes to assault the mind - not once but many times. He strikes the mind and emotions again and again and again. He just keeps on striking until he wears down the resistance of the one being assaulted. Then as soon as the victim lets down his mental resistance, the devil gives one last firm punch that finally succeeds in penetrating his mind. Once the devil has gained access into that person's mind, he begins to deluge him with lies on top of lies. If the person listens to those lies and believes them, the devil can then successfully build a stronghold in his life from which he can begin to control and manipulate him.
Does this kind of mental attack sound familiar? Well, let me ask you a question: Instead of giving the devil the pleasure of filling your head with a barrage of lies, why don't you start to resist him? That's right - just tell the devil to shut up and to stop dropping those dim-witted religious thoughts of nonsense into your head! Tell him to hit the road!
It's time for you to resist the enemy of your soul. Let him know that you're not going to bite that bait anymore, so he may as well go fishing somewhere else. You're no longer going to be a sucker! You have just been informed that there is a deadly hook inside that bait that is designed to hook you, pull you into the devil's net, and turn you into dead meat for the devil to chomp on for a long time. But he has hooked you with that bait for the last time!
James 4:7 has good news for you. It says that if you will resist the devil, he will "flee" from you. The word "flee" in Greek is so exciting! It is from the word pheugomai, which from the earliest times of Greek literature meant to flee or to take flight. It was used to depict a lawbreaker who flees in terror from a nation where he broke the law. The reason he flees so quickly is that he wants to escape the prosecution process. Remaining in the nation would most assuredly mean judgment; so rather than stay and face the consequences, the lawbreaker flees for his life.
This means the devil knows that he is a lawbreaker! He also knows that if a believer stands against him - in other words, if the believer resists the enemy by using his God-given authority in the name of Jesus and with the Word of God - it won't be long until that believer begins to rule and dominate the devil. Rather than allow this to happen, the devil begins to withdraw and look for a way to escape the prosecution process. Instead of sticking around and trying hopelessly to defend himself against the name of Jesus and the Word of God, the devil tucks his tail and runs! That is precisely what James means when he says that the devil will "flee."
An expanded and more contemporary interpretation of James 4:7 could read:
"Stand firmly against the devil! That's right - be unbending and unyielding in the way you resist him so that he knows he is up against a serious contender. If you'll take this kind of stand against him, he will tuck his tail and run like a criminal who knows the day of prosecution is upon him. Once you start resisting him, he'll flee from you in terror!"
Friend, the devil wants to make your life less-than-gratifying, unhappy, and uneventful. That's why he attacks your mind and tries to convince you that God's dream for your life will never come to pass. He desperately wants to convince you to settle for less than God's best in life. That's exactly why you shouldn't settle for anything less than God's best!
God has given you the name of Jesus and the promises of His Word, so it's time for you to close your ears to the devil's lies and start quoting the Word and commanding the devil to leave in Jesus' name. If you'll take this approach, the devil will not only shut up and stop telling you his lies, but he'll run from you in terror! Don't you think it would be a good idea for you to get started quoting the Word of God and using the name of Jesus today?
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, because You have given me the promises of Your Word and the right to use Your name, I refuse to let the devil bombard my mind any longer. Right now I stand up to resist him, oppose him, and put him on the run. Devil, you will no longer have free access to my mind and emotions, for I am standing up to resist you. You better put on your running shoes, because if you stick around me, I intend to prosecute you with the full authority of God's Word! I tell you to GO in Jesus' name! And, Heavenly Father, I thank You so much for giving me the great privilege of using Your Word and the authority of Jesus' name!
I pray this in Jesus' name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am not a weakling! I have the power of God, the Word of God, and the name of Jesus Christ at my disposal. When I step into the full authority God has given me, the devil knows that he must flee. I will not submit to the devil's lies. If he tries to stick around and harass me, I will enforce God's authority upon him! That's why I know he will start to flee when I stand up to resist him in Jesus' name. So right now, I am taking charge over my mind and commanding the devil to take flight!
I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- How do you respond when the devil tries to assault your mind with lies over and over again? Do you let him have free access to your thought life - or do you stand firm against those lies and command them to leave in Jesus' name?
- Can you remember a time in your life when, after rising up and taking authority over Satan's mental bombardment in the name of Jesus, you could immediately tell that the mental assault had stopped and that Satan had indeed tucked his tail and run from you?
- What steps can you take to prepare now before Satan launches the next mental assault? Wouldn't it be a good idea to build a strong arsenal of truth from God's Word by meditating on scriptures you can use as a sword against the enemy when taking authority over his attack?