Q & A
What does it mean to resist the devil?
James is the one who mentions resisting the devil (4:7), but says first that we submit to God. You resist the devil by submitting to God. What does that mean? When the devil comes, you don’t deny him; he has his rights, for he’s the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). He beats and batters you. The devil gets at you and pulls you. Don’t resist; accept. Then you say, “Wait a minute, I’m God’s person.” Then the devil flees. Resist the devil by affirming you’re a God person, and then he flees.
If you resist the devil yourself, you’ve fallen into the lie of independent self and you’re caught. And the more you resist this, the more you’re caught. Resisting means you’re believing in his power. “Ooh, you’re an ogre, I’d better fight you.” I’ve admitted unbelief, believing in the devil’s power; that’s (the lie of?) independent self. But if you accept it as “Oh, that’s not what I’m believing in,” then my real believing is, “Oh, he’s just God’s agent, and I’m confirmed in Christ.” And Christ comes through. Off goes the devil; that’s it. So you don’t use that Scripture, “resist the devil,” until you first use the previous word to submit to God.
So is that the same as Ephesians 6 when it says to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might?
Yes, How do you see it? You wrestle not with flesh and blood. If you say, “All these things are happening to me here, I’d better handle them as if I’m just a human person,” then that’s really believing there is an independent self. The answer? You stand in Christ. Christ is the victor, so you’re expressing Christ-victor. He knocked the devil out 2000 years ago and you affirm that. Say, “You’re knocked out; I don’t wrestle against you. All my wrestling is the affirmation of Christ.” As we said before, it’s receiving.
That’s why I say believe, believe, believe, you silly person! It’s always the key—all the time. Believe, believe! Why didn’t you believe during the storm? Why didn’t you believe when there was no bread? Why didn’t you believe there was no sickness? Faith means I’m saying He’s the one who’s got the thing in hand, and I’m saying so. And the word of faith brings the substance.
Therefore, we come to Hebrews 11, where the whole of life is faith. Some of these people endured and suffered, but in it all, it was God in the suffering, and they took their suffering even to martyrdom. So faith is the answer. The whole of Hebrews is shaken faith—saved people having shaken faith. Now we are here to have a confirmed faith, aren’t we? How is it confirmed? By practice. Tribulation gives you practice. Patience is sticking at it, sticking about it, sticking at faith. “Count it all joy when you fall into divers trials.” And you get matured in that operation of faith.
So your only sin is to move back into unbelief, which is believing more in Satan than God. Then you’ve been tricked into (thinking there is an?) independent self, unbelief. You’ve got a little slip-off. You’re really Christ as you. So you come back and say, “Well I don’t understand this. All right, Christ, this is your show. You meant it.” And you begin to see where Christ is in it or wait until you do see Christ in it. And there’s a light in you. We walk in that light. My old African friends had it on the principle of cups running over—that when you walk in the light you’re in fellowship with God. You’re free.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 32 No 4
- Faith Illustrations–The Original Christmas
- Two Men of God
- Three Exciting New Projects
- The Holy and Hidden Mystery
- Tell it Like it Is
- Q & A
- From Who Am I?
- From The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Bible Bedrock
- A Letter from Norman
- Except by Faith
- The War and After
- The Intercessor: Behind the Scenes
- The Editor’s Note