What authority do we have over wrong thoughts, unhealthy beliefs, and the influence of the demonic Spirit World? Yes, we are influenced by unseen evil spirits. Ephesians 6:12 states, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” People are not our enemy, though it seems that way when they do evil things and are unkind. When people are not submitted to God, then they are submitted to the devil’s will (see Ephesians 2:1-3 and James 4:7). We too struggle with wrong thinking and false beliefs from the influence of the demonic Spirit World whether we are aware of it or not. In this post, you will learn how evil spirits influence you and our authority over them. To learn more about the Spirit World read, Four Realities of the Spirit World
To have spiritual authority you must first receive atonement for your sins through faith in Jesus Christ. Then, surrender your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and submit to the will and purpose of God for your life. Submitting to God is yielding or surrendering to the action, control, and power of a loving, gracious, and merciful God. It is because of the life of Jesus Christ in us that we can have the spiritual authority to fight against the demonic Spirit World. Next, are four reasons why we have spiritual authority through Jesus Christ.
- Jesus has authority over the unseen Spirit World, which is under subjection to Him: Matthew 28:18 states, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Also, 1 Peter 3:22 states, “who [Jesus] has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected (submitted) to Him.”(Also see Hebrews 2:7-8). And, Colossians 2:15 states, “He [God] disarmed the rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) [the demon ranks] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him [Jesus].” Therefore, Romans 8:37 states, “… we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” This truth makes me want to shout, “Halleluiah.” One quarter to one-third of all Jesus’s prayers in the Bible was to deliver people from evil spirit oppressions. Read Mark 9:14-29 as an example of one of His prayers.
- We have the same authority as Jesus when we daily submit our lives to Him: Colossians 2:9-10 states, “For in Him [Jesus] the whole fullness of deity dwells in bodily form, and you have been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” This verse explains we too have authority because the Spirit of Christ is in us as explained in Colossians 3:4, which states, “When Christ who is my life appears…” and Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, …” And 1 Corinthians 2:16b states, “we have the mind of Christ.” If all authority is given to Jesus Christ, who is now our life, and we are one spirit with Him, then we have His authority. The Bible says we have authority over demons and evil spirits and to cast them out (see Matthew 10:8; Mark 6:7,13; 16:17; and Luke 9:1-2). But we do not have spiritual authority over people’s will to choose. This truth transformed my unhealthy belief and resulting offenses I had against God for unanswered prayer concerning people’s wrong choices.
- We have spiritual authority in Jesus’ name. John 14:14 states, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” Also, Psalm 124:8 states, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” God will answer our prayers when we follow the parameters found in John 15:7-16; 1 John 3:21-24; and 1 John 5:14-15, summarized below.
- We must abide in Jesus, that is, to remain in Him
- The Word of God abides in us (John 15:7)
- Love others
- Bear fruit (John 15:16)
- Our heart does not accuse us of sin (1 John 3:21)
- Do what is pleasing to God (1 John 3:22)
- If our request is according to His Will (1 John 5:14). Not every request is the Will of God for us, which is why we need to accept His sovereignty in our lives. The sovereignty of God means the thoughts and ways of God are above our understanding (see Isaiah 55:8,9).
- Doubt and sin block God from responding to our prayer requests (Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1-2; and James 1:6-7).
- A Believer’s spirit abides in heaven with Christ Jesus through prayer though we are physically here on earth. Ephesians 2:4-6 explains, “…by grace you have been saved—and raised up with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Also, Colossians 3:1-3, states, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” We are given a position of spiritual power. So, when we keep our minds on Christ through continual prayer and appropriate His power and authority, we will remain in victory. As soon as our minds dwell on the troubles and allurements of this world, we will be defeated. Until we submit our lives to God’s control and abide with Him in the heavenly realms (see Psalms 91) we will continually lose spiritual battles. The girls in the county jail who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions know this all too well.
Though we have spiritual authority over the devil and demons, we must humbly submit to God’s loving, soverign authority in our lives. Allow the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word to direct your thoughts and prayers. Our authority has nothing to do with feelings or head knowledge, but only because of our position with Christ Jesus. Be watchful for pride because it blocks Christ’s authority in your life. Remember, Lucifer was thrown out of heaven because of pride and he became the devil, who is determined to oppress and destroy us.
What we do not have the authority to change.
I want to share two very difficult personal stories too many people share. I said above, that we do not have spiritual authority over people’s will to choose. I prayed for years for God to heal my first marriage, but that prayer was never answered, and it ended in divorce. For years I carried resentment towards God for not answering that prayer. Then I read in a book that we don’t have spiritual authority over the decisions other people make. I was instantly set free from my resentment towards God. I understood why my prayer was not answered. My first husband refused to submit to God and see his sin, and I nor God could make Him. God has given us a free will to choose to submit to Him or continue to submit to the influence of the devil. You may be interested in my story about submitting my anxiety disorder in Why, What, and How to Submit to God to be FREE
My other story is about my son who also did not submit to God but surrendered to the influence of the devil. He became a drug addict and dealer after High School. My heart is so broken. I could only use my spiritual authority to ask God to show him the evil around him along with other similar prayers for protection. After a year of praying this way, he went to drug rehab and began to get his life together. When he came for a visit, he said the turning point happened when he realized how evil (yes, he used the word evil) the people were, he was hanging with. Praise the Lord for that victory. At this time, he still has not submitted his life to God and is still under the influence of the devil. So, I am still praying against the influence of the demonic Spirit World in his life. At a young age, he received Jesus into His life and accepted His atonement for his sins and was water baptized. At one time, he confessed Jesus as Lord of his life. But like so many other believers, he did not daily surrender his life to God. Now, he wants to live his life to please himself.
When we choose to live life to please ourselves, that is when we will be influenced by the unseen Spirit World. There is hope for victory through our spiritual authority in Christ Jesus.
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P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).