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Submit And Resist

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NKJV)

I have heard many people misquote James 4:7 by only saying, “resist the devil and he will flee,” but this is incomplete and it is not in the context of how it was written. It is important for us to know the whole verse, as it is the key for our success in overcoming sinful habits and patterns.  The beginning of the verse says to “Submit to God,” and then it goes on to tell us to “resist the devil and he will flee.” This puts the promise in the proper context, and it is a binding factor for the covenantal promise to be fulfilled. We are then given clear direction for what our submission entails in the following verse.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NKJV)

As Christians, if we don’t submit ourselves to God and give our complete devotion to Him, then we will compromise by placing our attention on other things. Submission is not the same as obedience, but it is the surrender of our will.  When we truly surrender it will then lead to our obedience.  So instead of resisting God’s will for our life, we should resist the devil. “Double-minded” describes our attempt as Christians to love God and the pleasures of the world at the same time.

Our compromise in doing what is right is a type of cancer in our spiritual life, and it will impact our walk with God.  When we compromise in our walk with God, those around us will be impacted and will be tempted to compromise as well — when this happens the spiritual cancer is spread.  It is the same for us when we are around those who compromise; we will be tempted to compromise.

Q: How can we keep from getting this spiritual cancer?

We must make the commitment within our heart to decide each day not to live a half-hearted Christian walk.  We must read and embrace the truth of God’s word, and then do everything possible to implement it into our life, and to pattern our ways after the ways of the Lord. 

I want to encourage you to think upon these things today.  Submit to God by surrendering your will to Him. Make it the purpose of your heart to resist the devil and his temptations, including the temptation to be conformed to this world (Rom. 12:1-2).

STUDY QUESTION: If we submit ourselves to God, and resist the temptation of the devil, what will he do?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you fully committed to submitting and surrendering your life to the Lord?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make it your heart's desire today to submit to God and to surrender your will and accept His.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for shaping me and molding me to be more like You. Thank You for laying it upon my heart to submit to Your ways.  Continue to shape me to be more like Jesus.  I surrender my life to You this day.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000