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Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:7)
Have you ever heard that expression, "Whatever!" spoken with the hand, palm facing out, in your face? I know when my son was a teenager that expression almost shortened his lifespan here on earth.

The word is usually spoken in a snotty way, indicative of an "I am not going to listen to you because whatever you say isn't important to me" attitude. It is a derisive way of saying, "Stop! I don't want to hear it."

In James 4:7, the word "resist" means to "stand against and to oppose" or "to withstand" (Strong's Concordance). I checked the words resist and withstand in a thesaurus, and found descriptive words much more to my liking—refuse to accept, refuse to go along with, defy, and to fight back.

That expression, "Whatever!" is a form of resisting. Often it is someone resisting authority or it can be a refusal to listen to what is being said (right or wrong). The most important thing we can do with this "whatever" attitude and action is to use it against our enemy!

When a traffic patrolman wants to stop traffic at an intersection, he will blow his whistle and place his hand up, palm out, facing the vehicle he wants to stop. He stands against vehicles, opposing their forward movement.

He is the authority in that situation even though a vehicle is much larger and more powerful than he is. The patrolman has the power to back up his actions.

Now in the case of my son, he had no power to back up the "whatever" attitude, so he was not in authority. He quickly learned that it was unprofitable to continue forward in his actions. Understand that the devil is the same way.

He is not in authority. Jesus has given us the authority over ALL the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). "All" means everything in his arsenal that he could ever use against us. Everything.

The devil is walking around trying to find someone to devour and we are to firmly resist him (1 Peter 5:8-9). The word "resist" here carries the same meaning as James 4:7. We are to stand against him.

I heard a minister put it this way: The devil comes to your door and knocks. When you answer the door, the devil asks, "May I devour you today?" Yell, "No, you may NOT!" and slam the door in his face with the Word of God!

The devil comes to your door with lies and deceit. He gives you symptoms of illness. He hands out a bad doctor's report. He tries to instill panic in you when you hear the company is going to lay off people at work. He wants to pressure you so that you begin to speak doubt and unbelief.

What are we to do? Be like the traffic cop and throw your hand up in the devil's face (figuratively) and say, "STOP." The devil and his wiles may look much larger and more powerful to you but First Peter 5:8 didn't say he would devour you; it simply said he is looking for someone he may or possibly will devour.

If we have the authority and power to stop him—and we do in God's Word—then he may not devour us!

When he tries to whisper his lies into your ears, put your palm in his face and say, "Whatever, devil! I am not going to listen to you because what you are saying isn't what God says about it." Resist!

Refuse to accept, refuse to go along with, defy him, and fight back against his lies. Resisting is not a passive activity. We are to boldly and strongly refuse to accept the devil's lies and refuse to go along with his way of doing things.

When he whispers in your ear, "You have cancer and you're going to die," throw your hand up and say, "Whatever devil! Stop! You are a liar and I'm not listening to you because Jesus died on the cross for my healing and health, so I refuse your report and will go with the report of the Lord."

When you begin to think about your job and panic begins to build up, say "Whatever, devil! Stop! I am not going to worry about being laid off. God is my source and He will see me through no matter what happens."

The most important thing to remember is this: never attempt to battle the enemy in your own power. Use God's power—God's Word—against him. Many Christians throw their hand up and yell, "Stop!" to the devil, but don't know what the Bible says about their situation.

There is no confidence that the devil must listen to them. They are not even sure they have a right to tell him to stop. So, he devours them through their lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). It is as simple as the fact that if you don't know you have a right to be healed, you can die of a disease.

It is vital to read your Bible every day. Read it out loud to yourself (faith comes by hearing). Read a chapter a day out of the New Testament—that's not too hard. Study the promises of God.

When you discover one such as Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus," read the verses above and below it. Understand that the supply is for those who are givers. Become a giver. That is the submission part of James 4:7—submitting to God's ways of doing things. Obeying Him.

You can become proficient in resisting the devil's traps! You have His Word on it!

Copyright © Anointed Word Ministries All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Nan C. Loyd
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Nan C. Loyd is an ordained minister who, along with her husband, Leland, ministers with humor and the belief that God's Word should never be hard to understand. She is founder and President of Agape Ranch Foundation, integrating many areas of wellness that promote wellness and the goodness of God, founder and president of Dancing Bulls Advertising, and co-founder and vice-president of Agape Ranch Enterprise.
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