I was teaching a class at church this morning on healing. I was expounding on James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
What does it mean to resist the devil? This is part and parcel of spiritual warfare. When we submit ourselves to God’s Word, we are, in fact, resisting the devil. But beyond that, resisting the devil means resisting the attacks he launches against us; attacks such as fear, doubt, sickness, discouragement, etc. These things are not of God and are contrary to God’s will for us.
So when fear comes, I engage in spiritual battle by opening my holy mouth and saying, “I resist you fear, in the name of Jesus. God had not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” When sickness tries to find a home on my physical body, I resist it. When doubt comes, I resist it. We need to actively resist emotions, thoughts, and physical manifestations in our bodies that are not from God. Resisting means speaking against it.
But why, then, do we see so many people submit themselves to God, and resist the devil — but the devil doesn’t flee? The Word expressly says the devil will flee? Could it be that we are truly not submitted to God? In order to take authority, we must be submitted to the Authority. Speaking of authority, could it be possible that we don’t have a deep enough revelation of our identity in Christ and the authority He’s given us in His name to cause the devil to flee?
We know that the devil doesn’t always flee immediately flee. I suppose there could be many reasons. But I believe it boils down to a revelation of authority and our faith to exercise it with conviction — in Jesus’ name. So whether you are fighting Jezebel, withcraft, sickness or some other oppressive spirit, meditate on who you are in Christ and the authority in His name and you’ll get the victory you’re fighting for.