Submit First, Then Resist

 In Daily Devotional

James 4:7-8

“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…”

While I was in prison, people often told me to “resist the devil and he will flee”. Certainly, there are many opportunities daily where we are faced with temptations. Resisting them in our own power often does not work. Why?

Incomplete verses taken out of context lose their power to set us free. First, we are told above to submit to God. Then, we resist. Satan is required to flee from the power of God the Father and the authority of Jesus. He does not have to leave if we are operating in our own power and authority rather than that exercised through us by God the Holy Spirit.

Next, we are instructed to draw near to God. As we draw ever nearer to Him, He comes closer to us. When we humbly submit to God and draw near to Him, He gives us everything we need to successfully resist temptation, and be victorious in every situation of life.

The devil can’t read my thoughts, but when he hears me verbally submit to God, he has to flee.


Today, be sure to submit first to God every situation and temptation the enemy throws at you. Let yourself hear you turn to God in submission and gratitude that He has already defeated your adversary, the devil.

Submit first, then resist.

Dive Deeper: Study James 4; 1 Peter 5:8-9; Ephesians 6:10-18.