James 4:6-10 (English Standard Version)
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
“Speak of the devil…!” is an idiom! “This phrase, in its current usage, is a light-hearted way of referring to someone who has unexpectedly come in when being talked about.” (www.theidioms. com). An example would be, “Well, speak of the devil! There’s Bob, and we were just talking about him!” But I would change the title of this Gem this way: “Speak
Of [TO] The Devil…!”
- The word ‘Of ’ is crossed out (
- The word ‘TO’ is inserted and underlined (TO)!
According to the Bible, we are commanded to speak TO the devil! Here is what is written in James 4:6 through 10 (English Standard Version):
...He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and pur- ify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Hum- ble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.
How would you go about resisting the devil? The same way Jesus did! In Luke 4:1 through 12, on the Mount of Temptation…
- …three times Satan tempted Jesus!
✞ Luke 4:2 and 3 – After the Lord had fasted forty days, “...the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’” ✞ Luke 4:5 through 7 – The devil “...showed Him all the kingdoms of the world...[and] said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give to You, and their glory...if You will worship me...all will be Yours.’” ✞ Luke 4:9 through 11 – “...he brought Him to...the pin- nacle of the temple, and said, ‘...throw Yourself down ...for it is written: “He shall give His angels charge over You...lest you dash your foot against a stone.”’”
- …three times the Lord Jesus spoke to the devil, rebuking him until he left!
✞ Luke 4:4 – “But Jesus answered him saying, ‘It is writ- ten, ‘“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”’” ✞ Luke 4:8 – “And Jesus answered...him, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.”’” ✞ Luke 4:12 – “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It has been said, “You shall not tempt the LORD your God.”’”
We are told…
- …in Hebrews 4:12:
...the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even the the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
- …in Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
- …in Ephesians 6:17 – An essential part of this armor of God is “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God….” This sword is only one of two offensive weapons listed of God’s armor! The second is “…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit….” (Ephesians 6:18).
When the devil or his demons attack, and you speak the Word of God against him, you are thrusting the Spiritual sword into his body! And that hurts! “…and he will flee from you.”
But notice: There are some requirements that are necessary, some spiritual military training, if you will, before we can successfully don and use the whole armor of God! And it is in our featured Scripture of James 4:6 through 10:
- Actually, we can start with James 4:4 – “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
✞ Satan is called “...the god of this world...” in II Corinth- ians 4:4. Above, I listed the three temptations the devil offered Jesus. For the second temptation, he offered, “... the kingdoms of the world...and their glory....” ➔ Satan could not have offered this as a valid tempta- tion if he was not in charge of “...the kingdoms of the world...and their glory...”! ➔ How did this happen that the devil was in charge of it all? In Genesis 1:28, God told Adam, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dom- inion over...every living thing...on the earth.” But when Adam bowed to Satan (see Genesis 3:1-7), he transferred that dominion to the devil! ➔ It is not until Revelation 11:15 that the angel announ- ces, “The kingdoms of this world have become the king- doms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” ✞ So to seek the things of this world (to seek its friendship), is to turn away from God and be His enemy!
- James 4:6 – “…He gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
✞ If you are ‘locked in’ to seeking the things of this world (check out the first 26 commodities in the merchant’s list of Revelation 18:12 and 13!), you need to be humble and seek God’s grace to... ➔ ...recognize on what you are focusing (pray the last two verses of Psalm 139). ➔ “...turn from [your]...wicked ways...and seek His face...” (II Chronicles 7:14). ✞ And if the sin seems greater and harder to forsake, “...He gives more grace...”! ✞ As Paul wrote in Romans 5:20, “...where sin abounded, grace abounded much more....”
- James 4:7 – “Therefore submit to God…” This must be done first before any action against Satan and his troops!
- James 4:7 – “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
✞ We dare not face him on our own! ✞ We must do our resisting... ➔ ...in the name of Jesus Christ! ➔ ...in His power, “...because He who is in you [Jesus through the Holy Spirit – see John 14:16 -18] is greater than he [the devil] who is in the world.” (I John 4:4).
- James 4:8 – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
✞ Ephesians 2:12 and 13 – “...you were without Christ...having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.” ✞ Jesus says to those who have been made near: ➔ “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5). ➔ “...I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). ✞ But here in James 4, we are told as believers to draw near first!
- James 4:8 – “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.”
✞ Jesus said in Matthew 15:18 through 20: “...what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” ➔ It is not the hands that sin, it is the heart (the mind)! The hands just do the mind’s bidding! ➔ As it says in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” ✞ So the battle begins (and is won or lost) in the mind! (see II Corinthians 10:3-6).
- James 4:9 – “Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.”
✞ This is not a general admonition! In the context of James chapter 4, we are lamenting, mourning, weeping, and being gloomy over sin manifesting itself in the lives of believers – our own and others! ✞ As Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3 and 4, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn [over sin], for they shall be com- forted.”
- James 4:10 – “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” How much better it is to be lifted up by God, than in pride to lift ourselves up? (see Luke 14:8-11).
So in James 4:6 through 10, James summarizes the requirements (the military preparations) to “…resist the devil….”
- But now (and if) you are prepared, follow the example of the Lord Jesus, and Speak TO The Devil!
- Use “…the sword of the Spirit…” (Ephesians 6:17) against him, and quote appropriate verses of Scripture to counter his temptations!
- Oh, and there is one more preparation to properly use “…the sword of the Spirit…”!
Memorize appropriate verses
so you can have your sword handy
when Satan attacks!