“So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will flee in agony.” (James 4:7, TPT).
You and I were born into war. Whether we like it or not, spiritual battle is a constant part of our lives, and will be until the day Jesus takes us home. Never fear! We were born for this. We were born to overcome. God has given us and put inside of us everything we need for bringing the victory Jesus already won into each battle we face.
Today’s Scripture from James provides us with wonderful insight into this winning lifestyle He has for us. It starts with surrender. Whenever you find yourself experiencing an attack from the enemy, the first thing to do is to get into a place of worship. Surrender is worship. Give yourself to the Father once again. See yourself crawling up on His altar and presenting your body as a living sacrifice. Turn over to Him any and everything that He highlights to your heart. A surrendered heart is a protected heart that the enemy cannot harm.
Then comes the next part. Resisting the devil. Now, the Word here does not promise that the devil is going to flee the very first second you resist him, do you notice that? Many times, we go through a protracted time of battle. We have to resist and keep on resisting until that moment of breakthrough happens and we sense that he has turned tail.
Here’s a spiritual picture for you of what is happening during that interim. From the very first moment that you begin to worship the Father, it’s torturous for the enemy. It reminds him freshly, once again, of how defeated he is. Way back when he was still in heaven, he decided he wanted the glory only God deserves. He lost. He fell from heaven like lightning. Now, he has to watch while you give the glory to God, over and over again. This is why the Word describes for us:
As you and I lift up our voice in exalting song to the Lord, the enemy experiences each and every note as a blow. As you resist him and keep pushing into God’s presence, it is an absolutely miserable time for the devil. It burns him. Yes, it’s hard and uncomfortable for you to have to resist spiritual attack. But it’s even worse for him. He fights from the place of defeat. He knows he already lost, and yet there is nothing left for him to do but to keep trying… what else is he going to do with his miserable existence?
So he attempts to keep up the fight. He tries, but the longer you worship and resist, the more painfully he suffers. It gets worse and worse for him, until he can’t take it any more. That’s when the last part of the verse kicks in: “…and he will flee in agony.” In that moment, the fire of the presence of God is you is just too much. He gives up the battle as lost and literally flees in despair and torment.
Remember this. If today you are facing an attack, you have already won. Press into the place of wholehearted praise, worship, and surrender. Resist the devil. He WILL flee from you!
Can you remember a specific occasion when you felt like you were under attack, pressed into the presence of God, and noticed the moment when the heaviness lifted?