I love that God gives us a ready suit of armor for the spiritual battle we face daily. In fact, we get the admonition in the sixth chapter of Ephesians:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:11-17)
The first thing I noticed when I really began to study these verses is that there is only one piece of “offensive” armor. Going on the offense means that we are advancing on the enemy, or into enemy territory. And that we are doing so with the full intent to win the battle!
And what a piece of offensive armor it is! The sword of the Spirit, which IS the Word of God!
All the other armor is “defensive,” meaning those are the pieces intended to fend off the oncoming attacks from the enemy. The very description of the armor itself lets us know that we are never to back down from, nor turn our back ON, the enemy!
Advancing in Armor with Purpose
I love what James 4:7 has to say, and it fits so well with the idea of our front-facing armor!
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Many times, people only memorize the last half of this verse, resist the devil and he will flee from you. That sounds great, and is entirely true… with conditions.
The first half of the verse is utterly crucial! We MUST “submit” ourselves to God for the resistance of the devil to result in his fleeing.
In the Greek, according to Strong’s Concordance, the word translated as “submit” has multiple meanings:
- To obey, or to be obedient
- To be subdued
- To be put in subjection to
- To submit oneself unto
But more interesting than that is the fact that “hypotasso” – or “submit” in the Greek – is a military term that means “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader.” If used in a way not connected with military usage, it means “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.”
Either way you look at it, to be submitted to God means that we are fully compelled to yield to Him and do exactly what He says to do.
We can expect the devil to flee when we resist him!
Run Devil, Run!
I think, as we look more closely at what this Scripture set really means, it’s important to see what “flee” really means as well. Again, leaning on Strong’s Concordance, we see that the word means, “to run away, shun, or vanish.”
The Outline of Biblical Usage takes it further, giving the definition of “to seek safety by flight, escape safely out of danger.”
So, you see, it isn’t simply a matter of making the devil leave the premises. No, we are in a spiritual position, as we yield our WHOLE SELVES to God, to be a THREAT and a DANGER to the enemy, causing him to seek shelter and safety any place but where we are!
I don’t know about you, but that adds boldness to my heart!
Hold Your Ground
It is the sole purpose of the enemy to connive, accuse, degrade, and anything else he can do to make us think WE have done something wrong. Just remember that when things start looking bad, especially right after you’ve “done all to stand,” you shouldn’t be tempted to give up. That just means you’re on the RIGHT track!
You’ll even find, in Isaiah 59:15, that departing from evil makes us a prey… a target:
Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey:
Nevertheless, we MUST hold our ground! Because we belong to the One True and Living God! Jesus Christ!