There is a very interesting statement from Jesus in John 14:30. Jesus is nearing the time of His betrayal by Judas, and the subsequent mockeries of trials and ultimately the crucifixion. But in this verse He says, “the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” At the outset of His ministry, Jesus had fasted for 40 days and nights, and then endured the temptations in the wilderness. Yet He never sinned. Again and again the enemy would come to tempt our Lord, even as he does in the garden of Gethsemane. And yet Jesus could say, “He has nothing in me.”
The apostle Paul challenged us in Romans not to present the members of our bodies as slaves to sin. I believe that when we habitually sin, or for that matter when we leave any sin un-dealt with by repentance and confession, we essentially give Satan a playground in our life. So that when he, or more likely one of his demons, come to tempt us and to do battle with us, they have a “base of operation” within our own flesh.
When we realize that we are in a spiritual war, and as we put on the “whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-20), we need to be sure that we are “confessed up”. That is, we need to have honestly dealt with sin in our lives and applied the forgiveness that comes from being cleansed by the precious “shed blood” of the Lamb of God, Jesus.
James wrote, “Submit to God, and resist the devil.” I think that order is important. To truly submit to God, I must submit all of me to God. So I must repent of my sins, and yield all of the members of my body to God as instruments of righteousness. And if I hold on to a sin, or I do not conquer the stronghold of some habit or addiction, I cannot say as Jesus did, “The ruler of this world is coming, but he has nothing in me.”
God has provided us every resource we need to have victory in the spiritual war we find ourselves in. But we must avail ourselves of the weapons of righteousness that He has provided. One of those weapons is confession of our sins, and forsaking them in repentance.