“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
In v.7b James commands that we resist the devil. This should be quite obvious to u, because if our goal is to submit to God through humility then we must resist the devil. In order to be wholeheartedly submitted to God then it only makes sense that we must resist His archenemy. We must place ourselves under the authority of God and to do that it is necessary that we refuse to bow unto the temptations of the devil.
At this point we might ask ourselves, “Why would James lump his readers who desired friendship with the world in with the devil?” He does this, through this command, because being a friend of the world and being associated with the devil are really the same thing. They both represent a life that is opposed to God. A person who desires the things of this world above God has joined Satan’s rebellion. This is why James lumps those who desire to be a friend of the world (v.4) in with the devil. It was the devil who rebelled against God. He was so foolish that he left the direct presence of God’s glory in order to pursue his own glory. Those who desire friendship with the world are committing the same sin that the devil is guilty of. To be a part of such a foolish rebellion can only be a result of the ungodly “earthly, natural, [and] demonic” wisdom that James spoke of in 3:15. If we fall into this demonic wisdom we too will eventually find ourselves pursuing our own glory rather than God’s; we will desire the friendship of the world rather than God. This is the exact sin that James is attempting to rid from his readers.
James’ command did not come without any assurances. James makes it clear that if we resist the devil then he will flee from us. We can be sure that in Christ Jesus we have the power to overcome whatever power the devil does have on this earth. However, apart from Christ this battle would be lost. This means we must submit to Christ, and use the tools that he has left for us, in order to resist the devil. The cheif tool that has been provided for us is God’s word. In fact, this is the very tool that Christ himself used against the devil when he was being tempted in the desert (Luke 4:1-13). If we are going to resist the devil it is vital that we follow the example of Christ, and use God’s word as our cheif tool.
For the Christian it is clear that if we resist the devil he will flee from us. John Calvin put it this way, “And, doubtless though he repeats his attacks continually, he yet always departs vanquished.” However, if you do not submit to God and humble yourself before him you are not a Christian and you have no hope of resisting the devil.