Growing up near Pensacola Beach, Florida the sand dunes in this picture were a great place to play king of the mountain. If you were a child, you know the game. You climb the hill and defend your territory from all contenders. The only rule: do what ever it takes to stay on the top of the hill. As the middle child of three boys — I played this game a lot.
While studying for a recent sermon, I noticed the word “resist” in Jas 4:7, “Submit to God, RESIST the devil and he will flee from you . . .” The word resist is a military term that means to hold you ground. To play king of the mountain with Satan. He will do all within his power and resources to gain the upper-hand, but you cannot let him. This is an eternal life and death struggle and you must stand strong. Paul uses similar language in Eph 6:10-14, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness . . .” “Stand firm, stand, withstand” — Do you get the idea we are to resist?!
One more passage. A passage that gives me assurance that I can successfully (victoriously) hold my ground. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1Cor 15:57-58).” (All bold type and underscoring in scripture is for emphasis – SMc.)