Our Lord calls us to stand in the power of the Holy Spirit, from whom we receive all that we need to reject Satan and our old ways (see Ephesians 1:17-23).
In James 4:4-10, James calls us to "[r]esist the devil," promising that, when we do, "he will flee from [us]" (v. 7). Therefore, we must be led by the Holy Spirit as we fight the fight of faith against our flesh and the devil (see Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 6:12).
We must learn to battle Satan and our flesh by trusting in the promises of God.
Read James 4:7 once more: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." The connection of these two thoughts is no accident, for successful resistance flows from successful submission. A life that is totally submitted to God in every area is ironclad, completely impenetrable to Satan's attacks, because it is fortified with godliness.
We cannot afford to be passive when Satan or our flesh attempts to draw us away from obedience to Christ. In spiritual terms, we must learn to battle Satan and our flesh by trusting in the promises of God, such as His promises to give us more grace and show favor to the humble (see James 4:6). When we live by such promises, we properly wield "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).
So, if Satan comes to you, whispering, "You've done so many miserable things in the past; your sins are too big for God to forgive," it is time to draw your sword. Pull out 1 John 1:9 and counter the attack with Truth: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Disarmed by the Word of God in this way, the devil can do nothing to you. It's as if he has broken into your house and found you standing there, armed to the hilt. Not only is he helpless, he's scared. When you resist him, he recognizes the presence of Jesus in you—the same Jesus who defeated him in the desert, condemned him at the cross, and will one day return to carry out perfect justice by casting him to his eternal ruin—the same Jesus in whom "all the promises of God find their Yes" (2 Corinthians 1:20, ESV).
Prayer: God, thank You for Your Word that is my sword to fight against Satan, my flesh, and the darkness of the world. May I surrender to Your will in Your Word and serve as a light to the lost as I trust in You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you" (James 4:7-8a).