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).

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).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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