Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)
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After we’ve humbled ourselves and submitted to God, we’re then told to defy the Devil. We don’t passively resign ourselves to his attacks. We’re to fight back.
The New Testament often describes the Christian life as a spiritual battle against evil forces, using war terms such as fight, conquer, strive, and overcome. Christians are often compared to soldiers serving in enemy territory.
How can we resist the Devil? Paul tells us, “Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NLT).
The first step is to accept God’s salvation. You won’t be able to say no to the Devil unless you’ve said yes to Christ. Without Christ we’re defenseless against the Devil, but with “the helmet of salvation” our minds are protected by God. Remember this: If you are a believer, Satan cannot force you to do anything. He can only suggest.
Second, you must use the Word of God as your weapon against Satan. Jesus modeled this when he was tempted in the wilderness. Every time Satan suggested a temptation, Jesus countered by quoting Scripture.
He didn’t argue with Satan. He didn’t say, “I’m not hungry,” when tempted to use his power to meet a personal need. He simply quoted Scripture from memory. We must do the same. There is power in God’s Word, and Satan fears it.
Don’t ever try to argue with the Devil. He’s better at arguing than you are, having had thousands of years to practice. You can’t bluff Satan with logic or your opinion, but you can use the weapon that makes him tremble – the truth of God.
This is why memorizing Scripture is absolutely essential to defeating temptation. You have quick access to it whenever you’re tempted. Like Jesus, you have the truth stored in your heart, ready to be remembered.
If you don’t have any Bible verses memorized, you’ve got no bullets in your gun! I challenge you to memorize one verse a week for the rest of your life. Imagine how much stronger you’ll be.