What does it mean to resist the devil? (How to resist the devil?)

Being raised in a Christian background, I have been taught to walk a righteous walk in everything I do. And what that means to me is to do God’s will and resist the devil. I have learned over the years in my ministry that our fight is not physical, but it is against the devil and his dark spiritual forces. However, I cannot say that my battle against the devil is dusted because as long as you are on this earth, he will try to push us against God. Every time he tries to tempt us to sin, we must resist him. However, how do you resist him? What does it mean to resist the devil?

Resisting the devil means overcoming his temptations that lead us to sin. James urges us in James 4:7 to submit to God so that we may be able to resist the devil. As Christians, we must understand that our first is not physical but against dark spiritual forces. Resisting the devil means overcoming these spiritual forces. And that means we should be equipped with the word of God and strong in prayer.

Join me in this article as I discuss more on what it means to resist the devil. I will also discuss the context of James 4:7 and what the verse means, and also talk about what Jesus had to say about resisting the devil.

What is the biblical meaning of resist?

The biblical meaning of resist means to stand against the devil and oppose him. Since the devil leads us to sin, resisting him means we have to be woke and not fall into his trap of temptations that eventually lead us to sin. That means that we have to be equipped with the word and not entertain any lies from the devil. According to the book of Ephesians 6:13-18, we can use the full armor of God to resist the devil and his deceitful motives.

What does the Bible say about resisting the devil?

What does it mean to resist the devil? 
What does the Bible say about resisting the devil? Image source: Pixabay

The Bible has a lot to say about resisting the devil. In James 4:7, the scripture reminds us to submit to God and resist the devil so that he can flee away from us. Therefore, this indicates that resisting the devil requires us to submit to God. We cannot resist the devil on our own.

Furthermore, the book of Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that our fight is not against authorities and rulers but against spiritual forces and dark powers. That means we must be equipped in the full armor of God, as mentioned above, if we want to resist the devil. Our fight is not a physical fight, and resisting the devil means we have to win this spiritual fight.

What did Jesus say about resisting the devil?

Since Jesus came to die for us so that we may no longer be called sinners but Children of God, he had a lot to say about righteousness and resisting the devil. As mentioned above, in Mathew 4:4-10, he led by example as he resisted the temptations of the devil while in the wilderness.

We are also reminded in the book of 1 John 4:4 that He who is in us is way greater than He who is in the world, and therefore we have overcome the temptations of the world. That means that as we resist the devil and his temptations, we are starting from the point of victory through Jesus Christ.

What is the context and significance of James 4:7?

James 4:7 is part of a verse in James warning Christians to avoid worldly desires and focus on God. James notes that we do not receive whatever we ask from God because our intentions are wrong and not pure. We ask to spend on worldly pleasures rather than glorifying God. James goes ahead and reminds Christians that being friends with the world means being enemies with God. Just before urging to submit to God in James 4:7, he notes that God opposes the proud but favors the humble. He goes ahead and encourages us to humble ourselves and not judge or speak against one another.

Following the context of this chapter, James 4:7 means there is no other way to resist the devil than submitting to God. Being in God is the only power we have to overcome worldly pleasures. And submitting to God requires us to be humble. Therefore, James urges us to resist the devil by submitting to God so that the devil can flee away.

How can Christians resist the devil?

Christians can resist the devil by resisting temptation. Satan is the supreme tempter, and he roams around looking for who to devour. And the best way to resist temptation is by using the word of God. The Psalmist says in Psalms 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” The devil can only overcome us when we do not know God’s word and how powerful it is.

Additionally, when Jesus was tempted by the devil three times in the wilderness, he used the scripture to resist the temptation (Mathew 4:4-10). Quoting the scripture made the devil leave Jesus. Therefore, as Christians, we have to be diligent when it comes to reading the Bible.

Furthermore, prayer is also a powerful tool to resist the devil. Jesus is a perfect example of continuous prayer that helps us not to fall into the devil’s temptation. When praying in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told his disciples to pray and be watchful so that they may not fall into temptation (Mark 14:38).

Do Christians have the authority to rebuke the devil?

How to resist the devil?
Do Christians have the authority to rebuke the devil? Image source: Pixabay

Though some Christians tend to believe they have the authority to rebuke the devil, there is no biblical basis for such a belief. The Bible only gives us the power to resist the devil and not rebuke him. The book of Zechariah 3:2 indicates that it is only God who has the authority to rebuke the devil.

Additionally, even angel Michael who was among the most powerful angels in the Bible did not rebuke the devil, but in turn asked the Lord to rebuke him (Jude 1:9). Therefore, as Christians, we should not be in the business of rebuking the devil but resisting him. We should focus on Jesus Christ, who is the perfecter of our faith, and believe that he will rebuke the devil and defeat the evil forces (Hebrews 12:2).

Why is it important to resist the devil?

As James 4:7 notes, it is essential to resist the devil so that he can flee away from us. Resisting the devil keeps us away from temptations that ultimately lead us to sin. Furthermore, by resisting evil, we are following God’s command for our lives. Romans 13:14 urges us to put on Jesus Christ and not make any provision for the flesh. Making provision for the flesh is like falling into the traps and temptations of Satan. Therefore, by resisting Him, we are living according to God’s will for our lives.

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