According to Wikipedia, Shadowboxing: is an… exercise in which a person throws punches at the air as though there is an opponent. To me, it goes along with the saying, “beat the air” which simply means, “fight to no purpose”.
Shadowboxing with the devil is something God pointed out to me one time when Leland was upset with the devil. He made the statement, “I really want to punch the devil in the nose. I want to beat him up.” He was talking physically beating up the devil (and he knew he couldn’t do that).
God spoke in my spirit, “So many Christians are shadowboxing with the devil. It will never accomplish anything, and in fact is very dangerous.”
Shadowboxing is effective in working out muscles but basically, you are beating the air at an invisible opponent. It will never defeat an actual opponent because no one is there. The same goes with shadowboxing with the devil by throwing ineffective “punches” at him.
Shadowboxers wish God would rescue them from an attack such as sickness or debt. They tell everyone around them about their problems. They get frustrated and “beat the air” by whining about it to God (calling in prayer). They get nowhere in defeating the real enemy because they are shadowboxing. No punches land.
James 4:7 gives you the answer to defeating the devil – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”.
One meaning of submit is “be under obedience” as in under God’s authority or obedience – obey God. So you can’t be out in sin – even something we consider unimportant like gossip or judging another person – then expect the devil to flee. Your prayers are ineffective.
And you can’t obey God if you don’t know what He wants. This means you have to get into your Bible and find out what He says about the fact that your opponent is already defeated.
To resist? To “stand against” or “to oppose”. I remember seeing a child in the grocery store “resisting” his mother. He wanted a toy; she said “no” – he threw himself on the floor and had a temper tantrum. She took him by the arm to lift him off the floor – he resisted. He resisted violently. He pulled out of her hands. He threw himself left and right to keep her from grabbing his arm again. He resisted any of his mother’s efforts to subdue him and get him to move.
My favorite description of “he will flee from you” is to “run away in stark terror”. When you find out that Satan has already been defeated, then you enforce that defeat with the Word of God. You speak what God says such as Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against me (you) prospers” (ever).
When you stand up to the devil with the Word of God in your mouth you are resisting the devil’s lies. He runs away in stark terror. The devil hates the Word of God (Bible). When he hears scripture, it is as if Jesus is standing before him – and that is why he flees.
Shadowboxing: beat the air, land no punches, fighting to no purpose
Resisting: know and speak what God says. Resist the devil’s efforts to subdue you. Win every bout