By Tom Shanklin
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7, KJV.
Today I want to talk to you about how to get the devil off your back.
After all, we know that he (Satan) is behind the problems that are in your life and the problems in the world.
- He’s behind sickness.
- He’s behind mental oppression and depression.
- He’s behind addiction.
- He’s behind family problems.
- He’s behind racial and religious hatred.
- He’s behind wars and fighting.
We could go on, but you get the idea. God is good. The devil is bad.
However, Satan would have no power at all unless it were given to him by the people of the earth. It started in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve listened to the serpent (Satan) and rebelled against God. Before that, they were free of all his shenanigans. They were on top and living in victory.
The First Step
Our text tells us the first thing we need to do to get Satan off our back. Submit to God!
Adam lost his position by submitting to the devil. We are restored by submitting to God.
To submit means “to subordinate, to obey, to put under, to be subject to.” In simple terms, it means to let God be the boss. The next verses read:
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:8-10, KJV.
Get serious about dealing with sin in your life, weep over your transgressions. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up. The Lord is not interested in your groveling in the dirt all your life, He wants to lift you up. He wants to take you higher, not lower. But in order to go higher, you must first humble yourself under HIS might hand.
We were created to live on top—on top of circumstances, on top in life, on top of the devil. But we were NOT created to live on top of God. When we sin, we are exalting our will above God’s will. The answer is to humble ourselves under His MIGHTY hand, repent and submit to God.
It’s like the United States of America. Our pledge of allegiance to the flag states that we are “one nation under God.” However, many in our country want to be one nation over God. A lot of people want the right to do whatever they want. They want to be their own god. But I’ve got news for them. It will not work! When you come out from under God’s rulership, you come out from under his authority and His protection…and the devil has a hay day. Just like Adam and Eve, when people seek to be their own god, they actually allow Satan to become their god.
But let’s get back to us…because first of all this is a personal matter. We will never have national revival or worldwide revival until we have personal revival. We must look at our own hearts, or as my wife says, we need to “keep our own nose clean.” It gets back to our personal relationship with God. We can talk about what’s wrong with our country and the world and “those other people,” but before we can do anything to make a difference in our world, we must deal with our own personal sin. So let me ask you:
- Are you living in spiritual or physical adultery?
- Are you worshipping idols?
- Do you have bitterness, unforgiveness and hatred in your heart?
- Are you putting yourself ahead of God and His laws?
- Are you a friend of the world rather than a friend of God?
If so, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, weep, and repent…and He will lift you up.
Remember, we’re talking about how to get the devil off your back. It starts with submitting to God. It’s about getting on praying ground and coming into a position of authority. You will never walk in authority until you come under the Lordship of Christ. Then, you will absolutely have authority over the devil. Satan is no match of the power of God working in your life.
God’s Secret Weapon Against Sin
Repentance is the first step, but it really doesn’t help to be afflicted and mourn and weep if you don’t receive and walk in forgiveness for your sin.
God has made abundant provision for sin through the blood of His Son. As the Scripture says, “…we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7, KJV.
The word “redemption” means that the price has been paid for you. When Jesus died on the cross, he died instead of you. He took the punishment that you deserved upon Himself. The blood He shed legally delivers you from the power, guilt, and punishment of sin. Your part is to repent and believe in the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus. Now, notice these scriptures in the first chapter of 1st John:
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7, KJV. Through faith in His blood, you are absolutely delivered from ALL sin. Nothing (no sin, no transgression, no evil) can escape the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus. His blood is sufficient for every sin.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9, KJV. Why try and hide your sin? He sees it all anyway. It’s like a man who came before a judge for a crime that he had committed. The judge is willing to exonerate the prisoner if he will just acknowledge and show remorse for his sin. But the prisoner wants to justify himself and will not confess. Therefore he remains under condemnation.
Come clean with God. Confess your sin. Admit it and quit it! And then believe that your sins are under the blood and totally gone. Do not allow Satan to bring condemnation upon you for the sins that are forgiven and gone forever, according to the Word of God. The price that Jesus paid was too great for anyone to live any longer under condemnation. Like the old song says, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
Now the Fun Part!
Now let’s get to the last part of our verse, “Resist the devil and he will flee.”
Once you are on praying ground through repentance and the application of the blood of Jesus, you have the legal authority to tell the devil where to go. He may have been operating in your body or your mind or your family, but now he must go by your command. “Resist the devil and he will flee.” It’s the Word of God and it cannot fail.
Resist means to “stand against, oppose, withstand.” It’s like when someone is trying to invade your home, you don’t just lie down and let them take everything, you vigorously RESIST them. The devil is a thief. If you let him, he’ll steal your joy, your peace, your health, your finances. Resist him! Run him off!
Understand, as a blood-bought child of God, the only place that the devil has a right to be is under your feet. Remember, Jesus is risen from the dead and has ascended to the throne far above all of Satan’s power. Jesus lives in you and gives you that same authority in His name. As the Scripture says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4, KJV. You CAN successfully resist the devil.
So, get up on your high horse of authority in God’s holy Word, and give the devil a swift kick in the pants. Say, “Satan, I command you in the name of Jesus to get your hands off of my body, my mind, my family, my property. I command you to go from me, in the name of Jesus.” Do that, and then give him no place. Give him no place in your thoughts, no place in your speech, no place in your actions.
Let love take over…and faith in God. 1 Pet 5:9 says to resist the devil steadfastly in the faith. So, use your faith against the devil. See your sins upon Jesus on the cross. See the Lord’s righteousness and authority upon you (just like the Bible says) and watch the devil flee as you resist him steadfastly.
Have a wonderful day…living on top!
Pray this prayer from your heart with confidence:
Dear Father, thank you for Jesus. I believe He died for me and rose again. I believe His blood is sufficient to cleanse me of ALL sin. Dear Father, I repent of my sin and turn to you. I submit myself to your will. Jesus is my Lord! Thank you for forgiving me and cleansing me. Now by the authority that you give me, I resist the devil and he will flee, in Jesus name. Amen.