Submit yourself unto God, Resist the Devil and he will flee from you!
Submitting Yourself Unto God is the Key!
Resist the Devil and he will flee from you, I have heard this statement many times since becoming a Christian. In most cases it has come from well meaning people.
Pastors, teachers and many well meaning people will give this advice to those in their mentorship or membership without really explaining how to do this.
Sometimes this advice comes from folks who themselves have no clue as to how this works but are just repeating something they have heard that sounds good! At some point it can become nothing more than a cliché with no real meaning at all!
In order to resist the Devil, we must first bind the Strong Man! How do we do this?
The best example of this is our Lord Jesus Christ example for us.
First, we must come to the realization that Jesus was blood and flesh, born of a woman and was subject to temptations just as we are. If you cannot accept this, you probably will not accept this teaching.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
If we can accept this without doubt, we can come to understand that Jesus lived and worked as a man full of the Holy Spirit in this earth.
So, now on to that very popular scripture that is rarely understood by those who give it as advise or who do but do not explain it to new converts.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
In Mark 3 we read about this event:
Jesus had just healed the man with the withered hand and given his disciples power to preach and cast out devils.
As Jesus walked by devils screamed and came out of people.
The scribes accused him of casting out devils in the name of Beelzebub.
Submitting ourselves to God, what does it mean?
Jesus Response was,
26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
This is pretty straightforward. If you intend to take something away from someone else who is a very capable person, you must put them at a disadvantage or make them unable to defend their possessions. In this scripture Jesus likens it to binding the strong man before spoiling his possessions or house. This literally immobilizes the strong man!
Jesus gave us a perfect example of this by His submission to the Father. Jesus mentioned many times that he came to do the will of the Father. Some examples here., John 6:38, Matthew 26:39, John 5:30, John 4:34.
So, after Jesus was baptized and John declared him as the Lamb of God, he is led of the Spirit into the wilderness!
Preparation for Binding the Strong Man
4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him…..
When Jesus came out of the wilderness we need to see the scripture points out that Jesus was hungry and thirsty. This is a characteristic of the flesh, to get hungry and thirsty. Jesus walked here in blood and flesh!
Satan came to him to tempt him. The tempter came……
Jesus replied to Satan’s request with the only thing that could bind him, the scripture!
4 But he answered and said, It is written, (Jesus submitting to the word)
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again (Jesus submitting to the word)
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Jesus submitting to the word)
11 Then the devil leaveth him,…
Submitting ourselves to the word of God is the key! Jesus fasted and prayed before hand!
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Jesus was not conformed to this world. Even as a child he told his mother and earthly father that he must be about his fathers will.
(This is one of the issues with our modern society and the children we raise. Another topic for another time.)
1 Peter 5:8-10
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
We must live here and among all those who hate the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the will of the Father that we live among them but not live and act like them. It is our commandment to be a separate people and to not “touch the unclean thing; and I will receive you”, 2 Cor 6:17!This is a truth we have to come to understand, we have to be separate from the world and it’s influence!
Establishing ones own Righteousness doesn’t work!
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
This is the normal life of so called Christianity today! People going to church, paying tithes, donating to the poor, etc. They are trying to establish their own righteousness by their works instead of submitting themselves to God.
This is why you see so many church members fall away and have so many problems they can’t deal with. This is why anxiety, depression, mental illness, etc. is so prominent in todays society! This is why so many so called Christians run to worldly counselors for help in marriages, jobs, relationships, sickness, etc. The world has no help for you! You are not of the world! Your counselor should be the Holy Spirit!
Folks have not been taught to submit their wills to God and put their trust in His Son Jesus! Most have never learned to “Rest in Jesus”.
As long as you go about to establish your own righteousness or goodness, you will utterly fail. There is no righteousness outside of submitting our will to the Father.
We must be born again through a repentant heart toward God. In doing this, we trust the work Jesus did on Calvary to be sufficient for the forgiveness of our sins and to make us acceptable to the Father through his righteousness, not our own. Through this His peace becomes our peace, His faith becomes our faith, His love becomes our love, His rest becomes our rest!
Spending time alone with the Father, stop being conformed to this world, submitting our will to his, accepting his word as truth and speaking it, resisting the devil, speak the word of God to our circumstances, this will Bind the Strong Man!
John spent time in the wilderness before coming out to Israel and announcing the Lamb of God to the people!
Jesus spent time in the wilderness before coming out into His ministry!
Paul spent time in Asia (His wilderness) before going to the Gentiles to preach the Gospel of Jesus!
We have to spend time alone with the Father. Jesus made this possible by His death and resurrection! He removed the veil and brought us into the Holy of Holies to approach the Throne of Grace that we could not do before!
Come before the Father with confidence that He is near and will hear your cry and answer you in due season! Our great High Priest, Jesus is continually before his face making intercession for us!
Just don’t forget, the tempter left Jesus for a season or for a more convenient time. We see him using people all through the Scripture after he left Jesus! Jesus truly Bound the Strong Man and spoiled Satan’s house by the miracles he did after he came out of the wilderness but the tempter was still watching for opportunities.
Satan used the Pharisees, scribes, elders of Jerusalem and even Jesus own disciples to try and tempt him right up to the crucifixion! At one point Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “get thee behind me Satan”.
If we are going to spoil Satan’s house (this world we live in), we have to bind him first.