When you search for the word “resist” in the Bible, you find some references that give us great instruction. To resist is to withstand the force or the effect of; to be able to repel; to exert oneself to counteract or strive against. Notice what we are to resist and not resist:
Resist the devil – Jas 4:7, 1 Pet 5:8-9 – the devil is a constant adversary to God and to God’s children. He is always on the prowl. We have two main ways to resist him. First, we resist him by submitting unto God [Jas 4:7]. If you are not submitted to God then you leave yourself wide open to attacks. You cannot resist the devil and be out of God’s will at the same time. Second, we resist him by being stedfast in the faith [1 Pet 5:9]. By believing what God said and walking in the faith of his words, we can ward off attacks by the devil. In the wilderness, when Jesus was tempted by the devil, he resisted the temptations by quoting and obeying scripture. Jesus did what the scripture told him to do. When you are tempted, resist.
Resist sin – Heb 12:4 – sin is a vicious enemy. Prov 13:21 Evil pursueth sinners. You must resist sin in your life. There are some sins that you deal with in your life that you would be willing to die to commit. Smokers are willing to risk their lives to get another smoke. Drug addicts are wiling to risk their lives to get another high. Sex addicts want sex so bad that they are willing to die, if that’s what results, just to have sex. And on and on goes the list. Paul said that in fighting some of these sins, you might have to resist unto blood striving against sin. Jesus sweat as it were great drops of blood in Gethsemane agonizing over our sins. He shed his blood on Calvary to pay for our sins and give us victory over sin. Put up a fight. Resist.
Don’t resist the truth – 2 Tim 3:8 – every single word in your Bible is true. Whatever you do, don’t resist the truth. When you read something, believe it just the way God said it. Those magicians in Egypt resisted Moses with imitations of the miracles God was doing. Don’t let someone cause you to resist the truth by giving you an imitation of what God said. Find out what he said, believe what he said and then do what he said. When Moses told Pharaoh that he was going to send hail, those that feared the word of the Lord brought their servants and cattle inside. The ones who believed spared their servants and animals. All the rest of the servants and animals that remained outside died. When God says a thing, you better believe what he said and do it. Don’t resist the truth.
Don’t resist the Holy Ghost – Acts 7:51 – when Stephen preached his great sermon in Acts 7, he told those folks that they were just like their fathers. They always resist the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit wants to lead you [Rom 8:14] and guide you [Jn 16:13]. But you must follow him. He is not a taskmaster. He doesn’t wrestle with you. He is gentle and he leads you gently. If you grieve him [Eph 4:30], you won’t be able to sense his leadership. And when you aren’t following him, you are resisting him. The trouble with resisting the Holy Ghost is that when you resist him you aren’t filled with the Spirit and the beautiful fruit of the Spirit is not evident in your life. That’s like growing a fruit tree that doesn’t produce fruit. Don’t resist the Holy Spirit.
Don’t resist wisdom – Lk 21:15, Acts 6:10 – Stephen preached with a wisdom and spirit that those who resisted the Holy Spirit couldn’t resist. So, they killed him. When you hear preaching like Stephen’s and you would rather “kill the preacher,” don’t resist the preaching. God is getting under your skin, tanning your hide, and stepping on your toes for a reason. You need it. Rather than resist, get right with God. He’s trying to turn you around.
Don’t resist the power – Rom 13:1-2 – the powers that be are ordained of God. They are ministers of God unto thee for good. So, submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake [1 Pet 2:13]. Just because you are saved doesn’t mean that you are now above the law. In fact, you should be even more law-abiding because you are saved. Set the better example. Respect authority. Don’t resist the power. They that resist receive to themselves damnation. Laws are enforced and they will be enforced against you when you resist.
Conclusion: this is a very helpful study for those of us who are saved. If you aren’t saved, then don’t resist the truth or the Holy Spirit right now. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.