Submit therefore to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.
Therefore is the Greek word oun, which translates as therefore, then, so. The idea is that this is a conclusion word. There is a conclusion to be drawn, and God wants you to know what it is. He has not left the conclusion for you to choose.
In this case the conclusion is that if God jealousy desires us and He opposes the proud who go their own independent way with obstacles and difficulties, then the obvious choice is to submit to God’s plan that He lays out before you. If you are a believer, then there is no other plan that works. Notice that God has said that there are two reasons why we should submit to God’s plan for our life. One is that you are betrothed to God and He loves you and wants you to enjoy intimacy and fellowship with Him. Second, He gives grace to those who go along with His plan and difficulties and problems to those who don’t.
What is it that God wants you to do this week, this year? The Apostle James is saying, “No matter how tempting the other ideas or the other offers are; God’s is still better and you should begin to act out that plan.” It might be to apologize to someone. It might be to go back to school. It might be to take a particular career path rather than a different one. It might be to enter into a relationship. It might be to end a relationship. It might be to go into full-time vocational ministry. It might be to become bi-vocational. It might be to seek help for your addictions. It might be start handling your money differently. It might be to change friends or associates. But God is most likely pressing on you some direction, some change that you must voluntarily embrace. It is for your good; go for it.
resist the devil and he will flee from you
resist: This is the Greek word anthistemi, which means to resist, to withstand, to oppose. God knows that there will rise up from within you and come around from outside of you, seductions to abandon God’s path for you for a different path – a path of pleasure, selfishness, power, wealth, excitement which will be very alluring. But you cannot give into those seductive allurements. You must voluntarily submit to God’s plan for your life. You are His and He has the ultimate better plan.
Devil: This is the Greek word diabolos, which means devil, false accuser, slanderer. The Devil is trying to set you up to go after something so that he can accuse you of going after it later. He knows your weaknesses, and he knows when is the best possible time to expose your betrayals of God’s perfect plan. He does not want you to do what God wants; he wants anything other than you or me living out God’s best. He wins if you get sidetracked with anything other than God’s perfect will.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.