Use Our Authority Over The Darkness

March 3, 2013

Friends,
The Word of God teaches us to expect persecutions and hardships. It also teaches us that the Lord Himself disciplines us, stretches our endurance and faith, and even allows, or brings, trials and sufferings to us in order to test us, train us, and make us stronger. The Word also reveals that there are times when the Lord allows us, or even sends us, to be tempted or harassed by Satan, also so as to test us, train us, and strengthen us. Even Jesus underwent this, and it was right after He had been baptized by water and the Spirit (Matt. 3:16) and had had the Father commend Him as His pleasing, beloved Son. (v. 17) As 4:1 says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”

As we know, Jesus did not give in to the devil’s temptations at all. And what did Jesus use to combat the evil one? He used the written Scriptures, the Old Testament, which He quoted and acknowledged as the Word from God’s mouth. (Matt. 4:4)

After this testing, what do we notice throughout the rest of Jesus’ walk on earth? Do we see Him being harassed by Satan and demons again? Hypocritical religious leaders and others certainly were antagonistic toward Him, but we see that they could not do anything to Him (until God, in His plan of redemption, allowed it so that Jesus could pay for sin on the cross). No, instead we see Jesus having complete victory over all the demons that encountered Him. Moreover, they were immediately terrified of Him. Did Jesus ever cower down under the weight of demonic oppression? Absolutely not.

What does this tell us? Well, are we not to walk just as Jesus did? Yes, 1 John 2:6 commands us to do so. Okay. So although we do have an enemy that “prowls around looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), we who are in Christ, we who are obedient and trusting, are kept safe. (1 John 4:4 & 5:3-5,18) The whole world is under the devil’s rule (1 John 5:19), deception (2 Cor. 4:4), wickedness (1 John 3:8), and “dominion of darkness” (Col. 1:13), but not those of us who are “born from above / born again / born of the Spirit.” (See John 3:3-8) We walk in the Light (1 John 1:7), in the Life (John 14:6 // 1 John 1:2), in “the eternal life” (1 John 1:2 & 5:20), and in the Truth. (John 14:6 // 2 John 1:4) Because we walk submitted to God, we are being “self-controlled and alert” (1 Peter 5:8), and are thus able to resist the devil (v. 9) and send him fleeing. (James 4:7) No child of God should ever cower before demonic attacks. We have more than sufficient authority over them, not them over us. (Luke 10:19)

What then, are the reasons that most “Christians” believe that they must often be subjected to the rule or oppression of the evil realm?

1. Pride is one reason. (Luke 10:21) Thinking they are so scholarly, the abundant riches to be possessed in Christ eludes their knowledge. (Matt. 13:11 & 18:3)

2. Another reason is lack of commitment. Many have not made the clear, final, decisive decision to reject sin forever / to renounce sin forever / to turn their backs on sin forever –totally, completely, and with finality. A piece of their heart, or a back room in their mind, kept for oneself, keeps them glancing around for the chance to slack off, the chance to indulge Self, the anticipation of snatching a teeny taste of the old. But, the true disciple of Christ knows he has made a final decision and considers that there is absolutely NO turning back. None. –That it is out of the question, no matter how he feels at any given time. For he does not live by feelings, but by faith.

3. Wanting to shift blame is a reason. People want to blame the devil for their sins, their lack of fruit, their lack of effectiveness in the Kingdom of God, their lack of victory in their spiritual life.

4. Likely the biggest reason is laziness. People not only don’t take the trouble to learn how to effectively counter temptations and attacks from the evil realm, but they don’t even want to know how. And this is because they would then feel obligated to use what they know –and that takes WORK! And work, especially spiritual work, is strenuous. It’s much easier to just sit in front of the T.V., watch the news (or worse) and get all ruffled and angry about the horrors and wickedness in the world, than to step up to battle the evil realm on someone’s behalf. And even though they know that every demonic dart sent toward them can be extinguished with the shield of faith (Eph. 6:16), they instead lay down on their shield and then complain that the darts are getting in. Praising God, especially in song or with Scripture — huge proof of faith– seems hard for them, even though if they’d practice it, they’d see that the demons, who hate to hear it, would stop coming around, knowing that they would be immediately routed.

Let’s stop with the weak talk, the pitiful complaints. If someone has real reason for being wounded, we should bathe their wounds, talk gently, and sit with them until they can get back on their feet. But let’s also be aware that many “Christians” are being attacked by the enemy due to their own insistence about remaining in sin. For them, nothing but a sharp rebuke is appropriate.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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