September 06, 2022 – Tuesday
James 4:7 NIV
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 CJB
7 Therefore, submit to God. Moreover, take a stand against the Adversary, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 NKJV
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 ESV
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
I was tempted to provide more versions (which may be found here and here), but the versions above capture almost all the variations. However, here is the Amplified Version (AMP), So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. This version simply tells us when we are submitting ourselves to God, we are submitting to His authority. And when resisting the devil, we are standing firm against him.
Then there is one other version of this verse. It is the Riley Driver version, Submit yourselves unto God, [then] resist the devil and he will flee. Notice the then that I inserted in brackets. I would always add that, as that is how I understood the verse, we are to first submit to God and only then resist the devil. I thought this was the idea, because if we do not submit ourselves to God, our resistance to the devil is in vain. While I believe my thinking is correct, it was incorrect concerning this verse.
I came to this conclusion when completing yesterday’s Verse of they Day, found here, where the subject was the preceding verses, 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” In this context, following these verses, the next verse 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, consists of two simple directions on how to live as a Christian. Number one, submit yourself to the authority of God. Number two, resist the devil (stand firm against the devil) with the added benefit that when you do stand firm against him, he will flee.
Guzik writes, the word resist comes from two Greek words: stand and against. James tells us to stand against the devil. Satan can be set running by the resistance of the lowliest believer who comes in the authority of what Jesus did on the cross. There is much in the world today to stand against. The easiest way to do that is to take to heart James next instruction in 8a, 8a Come near to God and he will come near to you. Want to come near to God? Then pray, read and study His word, be humble and thankful. He is waiting for each of us to come near.
Bottom Line: Two central instructions to follow to live a Christian life. Submit ourselves to God’s authority. And stand firm against the devil. The devil may return, but he will be defeated every time we call upon the name of Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, We are grateful for the straightforward instructions provided for us on how to successfully live as Christians. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton