You’ve heard the phrase “hell no.” That’s when it’s not just a no, but it’s a definite, certain, undeniable, unshakable no. Hell no. What if that’s exactly what you need to be saying, but you forgot one thing. You forgot the comma.
You see, when you place a comma, the entire sentence changes. Here’s an example, notice the difference in this sentence: Let’s eat, grandma. The comma between eat and grandma makes this a friendly invitation for grandma to join the meal. Now, drop the comma. Let’s eat grandma. Woah … totally different. Now this is a threat to grandma, she’s dinner. See what I mean?
Now watch what happens to the phrase “hell no” when we put in the comma. Hell, no. Now you’re not just giving a definite no, you’re specifically telling hell, NO. You’re acknowledging where the temptation comes from, and you’re directly addressing the source. Yes, we’re talking about the temptation to settle. The temptation to lessen your commitment. The temptation to give in. The temptation to go back to where you were so desperate to leave before. The temptation to play the victim. The temptation to be pitiful. The temptation to play little. What’s the source? That comes from the pits of hell where the enemy of your soul schemes to defeat you. And to that, we say, HELL, NO.
No, hell, you don’t get to tell me I’m unworthy. No, hell, you don’t get to whisper your lies to me. No, hell, you don’t get to sideline me again. No, hell, I won’t believe this can never change for me. No, hell, you don’t get space in my mind. No, hell, you have no place in my life. I’m a blood bought, battle fought, made new child of the King. I’m an amen, testify, holy water baptized, went down and came up clean. No, hell, you don’t get to tell me what I’m worth here. I’ve listened to you for long enough. You’ve overwhelmed me, discouraged me, distracted me, and held me back for the last time.
And here’s why it all changes here … because now I know my power. I now know I can tell hell NO. I don’t have to play the pitiful victim to the attacks of an enemy who is bigger than me. Girl, if you are a follower of Jesus, if you have confessed him as your savior, then you have the Spirit of God living in you. That Spirit has already defeated hell. Hell has now power over you.
James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
What does it mean to submit yourself to God? This is a simple surrender. Have you surrendered this to God? Yes, this. This burden you carry. This messy problem that steals your peace. This next step that you’re so darn scared of. This habit. Those thoughts. Those fears. Have you surrendered this to God?
I promise you this, God is trustworthy. I’m 100% confident God can handle what you’ve been trying to carry. And here’s the thing, you really suck at trying to carry this on your own. Your pride and ego tell you you’re the only one who can handle this, but girl, you are failing miserably on your own. Hell tells you this is the way it’s always been, and this is just the way it will always be for you. This is your burden to carry. Just stop wishing for something better or different. This is all there is for you. And to that, we say, HELL, NO! (Remember the comma.)
Surrender this fully to God. Turn it over to him. Seek him here. No matter how big or how small it is, God wants to carry this for you. He wants to make a way through this. He wants to use this, with a whole bunch of other things you don’t understand, and he wants to work it together for good. Well, that sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?
But, we can’t stop there. We surrender to God, and next step, we resist the devil. This is an active, purposeful, intentional reaction to the schemes of hell to defeat you. You RESIST.
Think of it like this … If someone is resisting arrest, what are they doing? They’re fighting. They’re doing everything within their power to not be handcuffed. And this is what God’s word tells us to do with the devil. Resist him. Fight back. Don’t just take the attack, don’t surrender, don’t shrink down and play little. Remember, 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Now, use that spirit within you to resist the devil. Fight him. No, hell, you don’t get to play in my mind, poke at my wounds, and darken my future. No, hell, you don’t get space in my head, my heart, or my spirit. Hell, you better get on up outta here.
And what happens when you fight back and resist the devil? He will flee from you. What does that mean? He will run from you. Oh honey, when you finally recognize the power of God’s spirit within you and you start fighting back against Hell, Hell will run from you. Yeah, when your eyes open and your knees hit the floor to start your day, the devil says, “Crap, she’s up!” Darn right I’m up, devil, you can’t keep God’s girl down!
We’ve tried to play nice and make peace with Hell’s attacks. We’ve settled into believing this is just how it’s always going to be. This is just how I am. This is just my lot in life. This is just the way my life has gone. HELL, NO! No, devil, you don’t get to play in my purpose, my blessings, my peace, or my joy. You don’t get to rent space in the dark corners of my mind. I’m shining the light of Jesus on you, and you’re out!
Hell doesn’t get my marriage. Hell doesn’t get my kids. Hell doesn’t get my morning. Hell doesn’t get my mind. Hell doesn’t get my dreams. Hell doesn’t get my future.
What is happening right now in this moment when you’re surrendering to God and resisting the devil? Oh the devil is running! And something else is happening. Next verse, James 4:8, “Come close to God and he will come close to you.” Honey, you take one step towards God and he takes a thousand towards you. This is how you do things you never thought you could do. This is how you heal. This is how you get over what you’ve never been able to get over before. This is how you break through what has always held you back in the past. You surrender to God and seek to get closer to him. He responds with running right to you, equipping you with supernatural strength and divinely guided steps to immeasurably more than you could ever ask, think, or imagine.
Now, let’s read James 4: 7-10 in my favorite translation of the Bible, the Message translation. This just puts it into words we can fully understand.
“So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him make himself scarce. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.”
This is how we rise up from where we have been stuck. This is how we get out of this pit. Let God work his will in your life. Yell a loud NO to the devil. That’s a hell, (comma) no! This is the only way to heal, to overcome, and to step into the big, beautiful life your Creator has always had in mind for you.
I have a song for you today, as you start telling hell no. It’s called “Under My Feet” by Zach Williams. Listen to these words directed to the pits hell:
You might not recognize me now
Those chains that once surrounded me
are laying on the ground
You can’t keep digging up my past
You may have had a laugh or two,
but you won’t get the last
Maybe I was blind, but now I see
Maybe I was bound, but now I’m free
And maybe you need reminding
You’re under my feet
And maybe you’re a lie that I don’t need
And maybe you should listen when I speak
And maybe you need reminding
You’re under my feet
And maybe this is where we say farewell
Maybe you should get on back to hell
Maybe you need reminding
You’re under my feet
Oh yes, the devil is under your feet! You have been given power over him. Luke 10:19, Jesus says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
You already have the power to overcome this, Sis. Now, use it. Hell, NO!