Monday, May 16, 2011

Submitting and Resisting

Today, the Lord has given me an insight that I trust will go a long way towards the goal of being on the offensive, and not on the defensive, against our adversary the devil who always seeks to both temp and condemn us constantly.

James 4:7 says, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you".

I felt moved in my heart to look up the words submit and flee. The Greek word for submit is "Hupotasso". Among other aspects of the word which mean to make one's self subordinate to, under the control of, and in subjection to another, I found one other very interesting meaning. One usage is to arrange oneself under. From this, I get the idea of an organizational hierarchy or perhaps a military arrangement. The Old King James renders the one word "submit yourselves" which carries the idea of multiple people arranging themselves in a hierarchy of some sort.

The Greek word for "flee" is "pheugo". In fact, the entire phrase "he will flee" is all in that one word. When we read this verse, I think many of us have gotten the idea that the devil will just leave. However, the Greek word carries more meaning than that. It carries the idea of running away to seek safety, to escape danger, and to get out of harms way. I believe that this kind of flight carries an element of fear with it on the part of the devil!

So, what does all this mean? When we arrange ourselves under God's hierarchy of authority, the devil doesn't see us as much as he sees the Kingdom organization that we represent. He sees the authority of the organization we are a part of. Because he knows the power of God, he "high tails" it out of there! It's not just that he leaves. He leaves in fear and terror! Oh thank you Jesus! Isn't that awesome! We don't have to live on "barely get along street" when it comes to our dealings with the devil and his temptations! When we as the body of Christ are in unity and submitted to the headship of Christ, and the structure He puts in place in His church, we are in a place of protection and authority. Praise God!
Acts 19 describes some itinerant Jewish exorcists who barely escaped alive from a demon possessed man because they were not properly part of the recognized organization with power on earth - the church of Jesus Christ. The demon recognized the authorith of Jesus and Paul, but he knew these guys were just acting on their own (v.15). They were not themselves under authority and therefore had no authority to project over the demon. Saying "in the name of Jesus" was not enough. Jesus was not their Lord.

If we've not been in a place of being submitted to God, the previous verse answers how we can get back into that place of submission. v.6 Says, "But He gives more grace". If we have been adulterers andCheck Spelling adulteresses as it talks about in v.5 - unfaithful to God - He gives more grace! If we've not been properly submitted to the authority structures in our lives. "He gives more grace". If we come to Him humbly, v.6 says He will give grace to us. He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Perhaps spiritual warfare is less about engaging the enemy and more about engaging myself to submit fully to my Lord Jesus Christ?

Father, give us this day the humility to come before you and cast aside all rebellion, all anarchy. Thank you that you forgive us and give us grace as we submit to you. Thank you that you are quick to bring us back to a place of effectiveness as we walk in submission to you and exercise your authority over the devil. Thank you God that sin shall not have dominion over us because we are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14). Amen.