So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you.
James 4:7 NCV
Have you ever been constantly under attack and can’t figure out why? There could be a number of reasons, some of which are beyond your control, but the question you need to ask yourself is, “have I left a door of opportunity open to let the devil in?” I know you’re probably thinking, why would I do something as stupid as that? In theory, the question sounds pretty silly because why would anyone in their right mind invite the devil into their life, but we do it all the time. How, you might ask? The list is endless, but here are a few examples that are found in Scripture: sin, anger, resentment, bitterness, disobedience, unforgiveness, etcetera. Ephesians 4:26-27 explicitly states that anger gives an open door to the devil. So are you mad at someone? If so, is holding onto that anger worth the beating that the devil is planning for you, or is it just easier to let it go and let God deal with it? This is why it’s important to know what the Word of God says because it will save your life, literally. Hosea 4:6 says my people are destroyed because they do not know Me, and knowing God means knowing His Word.
James 4:7 says to first give yourself completely to God. After you are under the shadow of the Almighty, you have to make a conscious effort to resist the devil. It didn’t say just hide under God and wait for Him to do it for you. You have to be the one doing the resisting. This means when he’s lying to you, you speak the truth of God’s Word back to him; when he tempts you to sin, you remember that you have to live a godly life; when he tempts you to do evil, you go and do good; when he sends someone to hurt you, you pray for them. You have to put on all of God’s armor so you can stand firm against the schemes of the devil (see Ephesians 6:11). After you have submitted yourself to God and stood firm against the devil, he HAS TO GO! He will run from you like the coward that he is. This is not to say he won’t come back, because he will always try to catch you off guard, but you’ll just have to suit up and resist him again. Please understand you can’t expect any of this to happen until you submit to God, which people have a hard time doing. You can’t expect God’s protection if you won’t stand with Him.
In the book of Matthew (4:1-11) Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. Every time he tempted Jesus and lied to Him, Jesus spoke back with the Word of God, beating him at his own game. After numerous unsuccessful attempts, verse 11 tells us that the devil left Jesus alone. Jesus was submitted to God, so when the devil tried to tempt Him, he failed and had to go find someone else he could mess with. That’s why in 1 Peter 5:8 it says the devil roams around looking for someone he can devour. You don’t have to be that “someone.” Don’t set yourself up to be an easy target. The devil should know that you’re so full of God that he has to leave you alone because he knows you’re untouchable. In Luke 10:19, Jesus said He has given you power over the enemy. He didn’t leave you defenseless, and He surely doesn’t expect you to cower when the devil attacks you. Jesus did not give you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, self-discipline, and love (see 2 Timothy 1:7). It’s time to use the tools you’ve been given and go to war with the devil.
Don’t cooperate with the devil for one minute, and surely don’t give him an open invitation into your life. You have spiritual armor to suit up with (see Ephesians 6:12-18), you have the power to defeat him (see Luke 10:19), and you have the Word of God at your disposal. You don’t have to be beat up by the devil because the truth is, he’s already defeated. You have to remind him that God is on your side and he has no chance against you. Live in God’s power and watch the devil run from you in all different directions. He should feel sorry every time he decides to mess with you. Make him run for his life.