Too often we separate Scripture and spiritual principles from the real world. As a result, these principles loose much of their power. For instance, James 4:7 tells us to “resist the devil and he will flee from you”.
But, how exactly to we do this?
No doubt, James had in mind real life examples of combat when he wrote these words. No doubt, he had seen someone physically attacked and he could picture the one being attacked resisting the attacker. (In the Greek, “resist” is a compound word: anti + istemi. Literally, “to stand against”.) Seeing a literal picture of someone resisting or standing against an attacker gives us powerful insights into how to engage in spiritual warfare against the devil.
Here’s an example. In this short video, Tony Blauer, an expert in personal self-defense, demonstrates a key skill in resisting. Here are some things that I notice.
1. Perhaps most important is Tony’s attitude. Because he is both conditioned and skilled, he exudes confidence. He isn’t “quaking in his boots” at the prospect of being attacked. If anything, the attacker is in for a rude awakening. This reminds me of Jesus’ attitude during his encounter with the devil in Matthew 4. Can you picture yourself having this same confident attitude?
2. Resisting requires particular skills. In this video, Tony is teaching “Outside 90”. What skills are necessary to resist the devil?
3. Resisting requires that we practice the skills of combat. Just knowing the theory isn’t enough. We must become practitioners. We know that God is infinitely more powerful than the devil and could get rid of him at any moment. Why doesn’t He? At least one reason is that we need an opponent to grow stronger and more skilled. (1 Peter 5:8 even calls the devil our “opponent” or “adversary”.)
What else to you learn about “resisting the devil” from this video?