“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

It must be realized that Satan will bring up his heaviest reserves to resist the child of God at this point.  If the enemy of our souls can keep us with unconfessed and unforsaken sin in our lives, then he has succeeded in nullifying our Christian life, making our Christian witness ineffective.  If ever we wrestle against the principalities and against powers, if ever we have to do with the rulers of this world’s darkness, if ever we contend against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies, it is at the moment when we attempt to seek the Lord for forgiveness and cleansing.

Someone has said that Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.  That may be so, but trembling or not, he brings up his reinforcements!  It may be answered that the Bible says: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  I know that, in practice, it will readily be discovered that there is only half a verse and half a truth in that quotation.  In practice you will find that if you resist the Devil, he will advance toward you, unless you are first of all fulfilling the other half of that verse: “Submit yourselves therefore to God.”  Then you may, “resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

This submission to God recognizes His lordship anew in your life.  It includes a confession of your sin, not sparing yourself as the fleshly nature likes to be spared.  Abraham lied about Sarah, and then tried to pass it off by saying that after all there was a grain of truth in what he had said, since Sarah was indeed his half–sister.

There must be none of this in our dealings with God.  David had sinned against Bathsheba, and against Uriah, her husband, whose life he had taken; he had sinned against the families of all the men who were slain in battle because defeat had followed his sin; he had sinned against the nation over which he ruled by staying at home upon the house tops of temptation in the days when kings to out to battle.  Yet, when he saw the Lord, none of these phases of his sin seemed to enter into the account.  “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight (Psalm 51:4 KJV).  So too must our confession be of our sin against the Lord, and only in this way can we cause the devil to flee.