Ephesians 6:13, says that we need the “full armor of God” in order to “resist” the evil one. James also uses the idea of resistance when he says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). So, submission and resistance are two opposites. We are not to resist God, but rather we are to submit to Him. The immediate preceding verse explains why. It says, “But He gives more grace.” He is a gracious God and calls us to humble ourselves to Him and He will meet all our needs. God always has our best interests foremost in mind regardless of our circumstances in life. He is always gracious and loving towards us. God is always good! All the time, God is good! He will take care of us amidst all the battles of life. We must surrender! Throw ourselves to the ground before God in complete surrender.

The rest of verse 6 says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” This is truly telling in its context. Satan’s sin was pride. Opposing Satan is opposing his prideful spirit. As he addressed Adam & Eve, he addresses us to doubt God’s good intentions, to think we can do it without God. Humility empties self of self-sufficient independence from God. Humility places self under God. We’ll never be able to resist the devil if we haven’t first submitted to God. They are opposite sides of the same coin. The word “submit” was a military term. James puts his language in terms of warfare. We are at war with the devil. A humble person submits to his Commander-in-Chief. By giving allegiance to the Lord, the devil will flee from us.

We cannot do battle with Satan on our own. He’s a supernatural being with resources and abilities beyond us. Even the Archangel Michael called upon the Lord to rebuke him. Only arrogance leads us to think we can obtain spiritual victory over this great spiritual being on our own. Humbling ourselves to God is the first and most powerful step in confronting evil. We must appropriate for ourselves God’s value system in our lives. In his commentary on James, Richison says, “to the degree that we live with the principles of God’s Word and apply them to our lives, to that degree we ‘submit to God.’” He goes on, “We accept His superiority as God and our inferiority as creatures in doing this. We obey God Almighty because His providence is best for us, for God knows everything from beginning to end.” Peter adds to this thinking in 1 Peter 5:6-7. He writes, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Then he concludes his discussion with this comment, “Our walk with the Lord always begins with submission to the authority of God over our lives. When we realize how the greatness of God towers over our finiteness, we draw on God’s power rather than our own. Without God’s grace, there is no hope for living the Christian life. We need that grace when we come under attack from Satan.”