The phrase “resist the devil” is found in James 4:7 where the apostle James exhorts believers to resist the devil in order to cause him to flee or “run away” from us. To resist means to withstand, strive against, or oppose in some manner. Resistance can be a defensive maneuver on our part, it can be an action we take to use the only offensive weapon in the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18), the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Using the Scriptures to expose Satan’s lies and temptations is the most effective way to strive against and defeat them. A lot of people only declare or read the last part of this passage “ resist the devil and he shall flee “ but It is important to read the whole verse: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Resisting the devil must be accompanied by submitting to God. A disobedient or unsubmissive believer will not see victory. We cannot defeat the devil with our own strength reality, he is stronger than us
( us without God) but when we have God we become stronger than him. As we struggle to stand firm in our faith, we must realize that the enemies we are up against are not merely human ideas, but real forces that come from the powers of darkness.
The Bible says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Why will resistance cause the devil to flee? Because he knows he cannot have victory over us if we are prepared to do battle against him. As mentioned before, the Bible assures us that we need only put on the full armor of God to be fully protected from evil and to actively resist it. There is nothing more frightening to Satan than a believer who is fully equipped with spiritual armor, beginning with the “helmet of salvation,” which protects our minds, and the “breastplate of righteousness,” which protects our hearts because it is the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Once fitted with the helmet and breastplate (literally, “chest protector”), we are then to take up other defensive weapons with which to battle Satan: truth, the readiness to proclaim the gospel, and the faith that shields us from all the flaming arrows of the evil one. The final piece of armor is the sword (The Word of God) . When the church, the body of Christ, stands united against evil, fully equipped with the armor of God, we present a formidable foe to the evil one and we will see God get the glory for the victory. As a side note, the Bible never gives Christians the authority to “rebuke” the devil, only to resist him.
In response to Satan’s attacks, Christians should redouble our efforts to clothe ourselves in the spiritual armor, wield the Word of God, and rely on His power through His word and prayer.
Instead of focusing on “rebuking” the devil, we should focus on resisting him with the full armor of God.