James 4:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

James 4:7, NIV: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

James 4:7, ESV: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

James 4:7, KJV: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

James 4:7, NASB: "Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

James 4:7, NLT: "So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

James 4:7, CSB: "Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

What does James 4:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verses, James spelled out how his Christians readers had been living lives of worldly self-reliance, as many of us do at times. They had committed themselves to getting what they wanted at all costs, even to the point of fighting with other believers. They believed God, but they refused to trust Him to provide good for them and to accept that He was still providing good when He withheld what they wanted most.

God sees this as adultery, cheating on Him with the world. He takes it personally. He opposes us in our pride when we live that way, but He doesn't reject us. In the previous verse, James wrote that God gives more grace. He gives grace to the humble.

How should we respond when we realize we've been on the world's path again? This verse reveals the beginning of James's answer: submit to God again. Give up getting what you want, and willingly receive all the good He gives. We must surrender our battles to achieve our own desires, and turn to serve others instead.

Finally, we must resist the devil. In chapter 3, James revealed that this worldly wisdom we've been following is, in part, from the devil, God's enemy. Satan has been instrumental in engineering this system of self-service from the very beginning of human history. James's promise is clear: If we quit the path of the world and resist the devil, he will run away from us.

We must resist, though. Resistance requires us to actively pull away. It demands we continually counter his lies by telling ourselves the truth about our God's goodness, love, and power. The devil won't remain in the presence of our submission to the truth of God's Word.