Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (ESV)
I think most people prefer to have benefits without hard work, blessings without struggles, victory without a battle. We read this verse and we love the last part of it. The idea of the devil fleeing from us is a wonderful picture of victory. I am sure that anyone making a claim of following Christ would love to see the devil run.
You probably know where I am going with this. We must understand the first part of this verse if we are going to enjoy the last part of it. There is this idea of submission. Ah, now that is a different thing entirely. We do not like submission. The very heart of man rebels against this notion of submitting to a higher authority.
The reality is, if we are to ever have victory over the enemy we must submit to the Lord's authority. That means that God is in charge of every area of your life. That means you surrender to him your desires, your dreams, your ambitions, your possessions, your life, and your precious rights. The Lord is to be in charge.
This first step of submission is missing in every defeated Christian's life. So many people attempt to resist the devil without first submitting to the Lord. That is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Here's why. You are not strong enough to defeat the devil. God is. You are not. If you will submit to him, he will fight the enemy for you, and you will have the victory.
Everything I said is true. None of it is easy. Ask the Lord to help you. Even in our struggle to submit, he will help us. Give up all your efforts to be strong. Depend completely on the Lord. It is the first step to winning the battle against the enemy of your soul.