Resisting means to stand against and to fight against. In James 4:7 we are commanded to submit to God and resist the devil. In Ephesians 6:12 and 14 we are commanded to be strong in the Lord and to stand against and to wrestle against principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
When we pray, we are to pray without ceasing, being ever watchful, resisting the enemy at every turn (2 Thess. 5:16; Matt. 26:41); for the devil and his demons are always lurking around, waiting to devour us; and sin and this evil world are also tempting us. There is never a time of prayer when we can relax. We must always be watchful, always ready. Or as they say in sports, we must always have our game face on. The moment we relax in prayer that is the moment that the devil will attack us and we will fall into temptation and sin.
But when we are persistent to resist sin and Satan and submit to God, Satan will back down and flee as if he is defeated (Ja. 4:7), and the temptations you face will dry up and disappear.
And why will this happen? The answer is simple. When we resist the devil and the temptations he brings us, and we choose instead to submit to God, we at that moment are making ourselves incredibly strong in the Lord and we are putting Satan in an impossible position. For any time we submit to God, at that moment He puts His protective shield around us so that nothing can hurt us. The Psalmist wrote, “He is a shield to all who trust in Him” (Ps. 18:30).
And though Satan is tough, he is no match for the Lord and he knows it. He will always back down when we put him to a fight. For when we are on the Lord’s team, with the Lord’s shield around us, we are invincible; and Satan might as well start running—because he can never win against us. In fact, Jesus has already defeated Satan by His blood on the cross. He can harass us and cause us to sin if we let him, but he can never ultimately win against us by taking our salvation away from us. He is a defeated foe and will always run from us when we come against him in the Lord (Col. 2:15).