What does it mean, "Do not resist."?
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost...
"The whole heart must be yielded to God, or the change can never be wrought in us by which we are to be restored to His likeness. By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: "Dead in trespasses and sins;" "the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;" "no soundness in it." We are held fast in the snare of Satan, "taken captive by him at his will." Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26. God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him."
Steps to Christ, page 43
It is obvious that God does not want us to resist His love, but what does "Do not resist" really mean?
An easy way to understand what this means is with an illustration, so think about a caged bird. It has no way out unless someone opens the door. The bird is in a helpless situation. If someone reaches into the cage and attempts to free the bird and the bird moves away or tries to bite, then the bird has just "resisted". Freedom was there, but it was not accepted.
It is the same with us. God wants to help us out of this bondage, this "sin cage", but He allows us to choose. We have a choice to resist or not to resist. If we want help then we must not resist Him. There will be times that it may not seem that God is actually helping at all and in fact it may seem as if things have actually gotten worse than they were before (that's what the bird may think also), but if you really want out of sin's "cage" do not resist.
God wants our character to be a perfect reflection of His character. Sometimes, He will actually let bad things happen to us to make us better people. Have you ever felt when you tried to give yourself to God that things seemed to get worse? Maybe He was trying to make you a better person. Did you resist?
An illustration of the fact that God uses bad things to make us better can be seen in how gold is purified. A great deal of heat is applied to the gold to melt it and only when the reflection of the person applying the heat can be seen do you know that the gold is pure, that all of the impurities (the "dross") are removed.
So it is when God purifies us. He "applies heat" until He can see the perfect reflection of His character in us. Do not resist, the "heat" is for your own good. God wants you to hate sin. He wants to rid you of the love of sinning and make you pure and sinless. He wants our attitude toward sin to be just like His.
"The refining furnace is to remove the dross. When the Refiner sees His image reflected in you perfectly, He will remove you from the furnace. You will not be left to be consumed or to endure the fiery ordeal any longer than is necessary for your purification. But it is necessary for you, in order to reflect the divine image, to submit to the process the Refiner chooses for you, that you may be cleansed, purified, and every spot and blemish removed--not even a wrinkle left in your Christian character." Our High Calling, page 312
The Bible says, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32 Do not resist God's love and Jesus will set you free from sin. Just as a bird is set free from its cage you will be set free and be given peace, joy, happiness and life that will never end.
On the other hand, we are told to resist the Devil. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7 This concept of resisting the Devil and not resisting God (submitting) shows that we have a choice to make.
The Bible says that we are changed by what we look at, dwell on, or think about. If we find ourselves enjoying the "good things" of this life so much that we forget about God then we are choosing to resist Him. On the other hand, if we constantly remember to thank the Lord for all the good things of this life then we are actually choosing to resist the Devil who has been trying to make us forget that God is the One who provides us with all good things.