So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 (AMP)
Suggested reading: James 4:7-10
Many people quote this verse by saying, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” However, they omit the first and most important part, “Submit to God.” The devil will not flee from us if we are in agreement with him and the kingdom of darkness. If we, or someone else, try to break oppression from the kingdom of darkness off us, but we are not submitted to Almighty God, the oppression will either not leave at all, or it will quickly return. This is one reason lasting freedom is often not obtained by believers.
We must submit to the authority of God—and draw near to Him with a humble heart—to receive freedom from harassment from the kingdom of darkness and freedom from the effects of traumatic circumstances. The devil and his helpers will flee from us when they know we are serious about submitting to the Most High God and His will. However, Satan will never stop trying to encourage us to sin and disobey God. That is part of the spiritual warfare experienced by every follower of Jesus Christ.
To receive inner healing and freedom, we cannot be double-minded people. Our focus and energy has to be spent on obeying the Lord in every area of our lives. That does not mean that we will be perfect. On this earth, there is no chance that perfection will be attained, but we should strive to be more like Jesus every day. As we sincerely continue to repent for times when we miss the mark, we are submitting to God. The devil will flee from us and the healing of our broken hearts will be possible.