Submit to God and the Devil Will Flee from You
James 4:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 Submit therefore to God. Stand against the devil and he will flee from you.
Submit therefore to God. Stand against the devil and he will flee from you. (4:7)
How can Christians receive the grace of God mentioned in verse 6? They can do so by submitting themselves to God. To submit to God means that we place ourselves under his sovereignty, in which we fully commit ourselves to obeying him in all things. The Greek verb (hypotasso) means ‘to submit, be subject, and, in general, communicates some sense of hierarchy.’ (Mounce 2006, 695) This submission to God is voluntary in every aspect of the Christian life. This includes the does and don’ts of Scripture, and also the things that God provides for us or allows us to go through, knowing his way is always best. Peter tells us “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” (1 Pet. 5:6) In this, we are placing our will under the control of the Father.
Part of our submission to God is that we take a stand against the Satan the Devil. (See Eph. 4:27; 6:11-12; 1 Tim. 3:6-7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9) As Satan is actually the god of this world at this time (2 Cor. 4:3-4; John 14:30), to resist him is to be no part of the world. As we saw, to be a part of the world would make us an enemy of God. Satan’s world caters to the fallen flesh, such as individuality, absolute freedom, self-importance, self-interest, love of self, fame, reputation, covetousness, and the like. The word “devil” translates the Greek diabolos, which means “slanderer.” The Devil brought humanity into the current turmoil by originally slandering God. The main objective of the Devil is to separate us from God by his deception. Many times, this is also accomplished through false religious leaders as well.
When we stand against the devil, we are told by James that he will flee from us. This is the case because we have help from the one who conquered the world, Jesus Christ (John 16:33), as well as the helper he sent us, the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7) The Devil tried to tempt Jesus as well. However, when Jesus used the Scriptures against him, he fled from Jesus. (Matt 4:1-11) In the book of Job, we learned that God put a hedge around Job and his house and all that he had, blessing him. (Job 1:10) Why did God protect Job in this way? If there were no protective wall around the righteous, the Devil and his demons could just arbitrarily kill every faithful person: Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, John, Peter, and Paul, to mention just a few. In fact, Peter wrote, “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?” (1 Pet. 3:13) Therefore, Christians can conquer the Devil through the power of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
 I.e., resist or oppose