“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:6-7
Gracious Father, this Scripture is both incredibly encouraging and, quite literally, humbling. When I look back over the years at the different teachings I’ve had about spiritual warfare and “fighting the devil,” much of it promoted more fear than faith, more phobia than freedom, more preoccupation with darkness than fascination with the Light of the World. Being naïve about Satan and his schemes is not okay; but being naïve about Jesus and victory is ten thousand times worse.
Somewhere along the line, I missed the image of a “fleeing devil” and “shuddering demons” (James 2:19). Father, you sent Jesus into the world to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). He came and he has succeeded. Hallelujah! Satan’s head and been crushed and his fate has been sealed (Rev. 20:10). The gospel is true and powerful.
Because of the victory Jesus won on the cross, the devil knows his time is short, and he is filled with fury—a damned dragon with a mortal wound (Rev. 12:12). En route to his sure demise, he will continue to ramp up his seducing, tempting, and condemning ways, every opportunity he gets. This is why staying in a posture of humility before you, Father, is the best way I can “do” spiritual warfare. I do my best resisting of the devil when I am most fully believing the gospel.
So right now, Father, I humble myself before you. Only the gospel frees me to see my sin, own my weakness and understand my susceptibility to the devil’s schemes. I need the gospel today as much as I did the first day you declared me to be righteous in your sight. I trust you for all the truth and grace I’ll need to live for your glory this very day.
Lord Jesus, you are my wisdom and my righteousness, my holiness and my redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). Though the devil can accuse me, he can no longer condemn me, because you took the judgment I deserve (Rom. 8:1). I boast in you plus nothing, for there’s nothing boast-worthy in me.
I’ll resist the devil’s deceitful and damning ways by looking unto you, Jesus—pondering your beauty and bounty; standing in your grace and resting in your love. With the eye of faith, I set my gaze on you, the author and perfecter of my faith (Heb. 12:2). I’ll not even glance at the devil as he flees, and flee he must. So very Amen I pray, in your powerful and triumphant name.