“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”James 4:7
God’s promise in this scripture is fairly straight-forward. He promises the devil will flee from us. That sounds like a good deal – sign me up! However, James is clear that we must play an active role in resisting the devil. He doesn’t just flee from us when we ask him to leave. We have to make a choice each day to continue obeying God – this is what causes the devil to flee.
Submitting ourselves to God, obeying Him and following His way instead of our own means we don’t always get what we want. It often means the world will be unimpressed with us. Submitting ourselves to God requires sacrifice. The good news is, when we choose God’s way, it’s game over – the devil will surely flee. That’s how big God is.
I think the 2021 USA translation of this verse would read “Just tell the devil you’re with God and he’ll skedaddle.” But are we actually WITH God? It helps me to think of a path. Are we on His path with Him or do we wander around seeing what the world has to offer, only coming to God when life gets too hard? All kinds of things cause us to wander: money, comfort, status, approval, the list goes on. Straying from God’s path for these things is just what the devil wants us to do. We are a much easier target when we are only actually with God for a fraction of our time. He flees from the people who faithfully walk with God no matter what. But those of us who constantly wander because we don’t want to fully submit ourselves to God’s ways are the ones who will find the devil lingering. What’s causing you to wander? Are you willing to give it up so you can stick with the one who makes the devil flee?