“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Growing up, I can remember preachers admonishing us to “give up and give in to God.” I know what they meant, but I’ve come to see a distinct difference between the two, mainly in the lives of people who would rather give up the fight against sin than give in to God.
As I see it, the two directives in this verse are an example of what I’m saying. The promise of being able to roust the devil and put him on the run is dependent on giving in but not giving up. To give in is to submit or relinquish claim to a higher authority; to give up is to lose resolve and willfully quit. Submission and resistance are two very different things. It’s the difference between letting go and letting God, and just plain letting go.
Those who are too quick to throw in the towel when it comes to living for God are either floundering under manmade goals and standards or kicking against the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In either case, they need to give in to God’s rule, not their own or anyone else’s. Then resist the devil, and don’t give up…ever.
The only legitimate time to give up is when we “give up the ghost!”