James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Resist. What does that mean? It certainly doesn’t mean “ignore” or “compromise with.” It is definitely an action and requires an act of will.
The only defense we have against the devil is a right relationship with God, which includes submission to His will. Sin in our lives is like an invitation for the devil to work. When we entertain sin, we effectively shut out the voice of the Holy Spirit, which gives an opportunity for the devil to move in our lives.
When we face the devil on our own power, the situation is hopeless. But, as believers in Christ, we are promised the power of God in our efforts to thwart the plans of the enemy. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8).
When we are walking in the fullness of the grace of God, the devil will come against us, of that you can be assured. He hates for Christians to be in that place. But, in that fullness of relationship with the Lord is where we can hear Him the most clearly. It is also where we can most clearly recognize the working of the enemy.
The devil works in our lives in the forms of deception, doubt, anger, fear and temptation. He even tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus stood firm on the Word of God, and took authority over Satan: “Away from me, Satan! For it is written” (Matt. 4:10). Even Jesus wasn’t immune to temptation. The issue is not whether we will face temptation; it is what we will do when we face it. The choice is clear: buckle under the force of evil and submit to the working of the enemy, or claim the power that is before you through Jesus Christ–resist, and conquer.