HOW TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK IN YOUR LIFE

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1John 3:8b). What are the works or schemes of the devil?

  • Deception, so we remain self-focused and unforgiving (John 8:44 and 2Cor. 2:10-11).
  • Temptation, so we sin and stay under God’s wrath (Col. 3:5-9).
  • He inflicts us with illness (Acts 19:12 ).
  • Entrapment to do his will and not God’s will (2Timothy 2:26).
  • Oppression (Matthew 8:16).

To not get caught in the devils schemes, Ephesians 6:11-12 states, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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.” What does a warrior do? A warrior trains and is prepared to fight.

I have been doing a series on the armor of God, but this is Easter weekend, and I want to remind you that Jesus has destroyed the works of the devil in your life. I like the following passage because it reminds me how to be victorious. Hebrews 12:1-2 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jesus Christ is alive and is seated at the right hand of God. He gives us the spiritual authority to fight against the demonic spirit world and their work of deception and temptations. The following are four truths explaining why we have dominion over demons through Jesus Christ:

1.  Jesus has dominion over the demonic realm. This truth is found in Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Every spiritual entity yields to Jesus. And 1Peter 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.”1 Because Jesus triumphed over the demonic ranks, so can we. Colossians 2:15 states, “He [God] disarmed the rulers and authorities [the demon ranks] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him [Jesus].”Therefore, Romans 8:37b, “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

2.  We have the same authority as Jesus when we daily submit to His leadership: This truth is found in Colossians 2:9–10, “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.” Because Jesus lives in our hearts, we are “filled in Him”, and we have His deity and authority because He becomes our life as explained in Colossians 3:4a, 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 1Corinthians 2:16b states, “We have the mind of Christ.” If Jesus Christ has all authority, and He is our life, and we are one spirit with Him, then we too have His spiritual authority. The Bible says we have power over demons and evil spirits.2 Still, we do not have control over another person’s will to choose. This truth transformed my unhealthy belief and the resulting offenses I held against God for unanswered prayer. I prayed for people who were making wrong choices, and my prayers went unanswered because they have a free will.

3.  We have authority in Jesus’ name. This truth is found in John 14:14, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” Also, Psalm 124:8 says, “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; 1John 3:21–24; and 1John 5:14–15, summarized below:

  • We must abide in Jesus and live through Him, and His Word abides in us (John 15: 7)
  • We bear fruit (John 15:16)
  • Our heart does not condemn us because we please Him and love others (1John 3:21-24)
  • Our requests are submitted to His will (1John 5:14)

God’s sovereignty is difficult to understand because the thoughts and ways of God are above our understanding.3 Also, doubt and habitual sin block our prayers, so God may not respond to your prayer requests.4

4. We have the keys to the kingdom. Matthew 16:19 states, “I [Jesus] will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Also see Matthew 18:18.) When you have keys, you have the authority to lock or unlock your house or wherever the key fits. In the spirit realm, the kingdom’s keys allow you to bind (lock) or loose (unlock). The Greek meaning for “bind” is to tie or knit, and “loose” means undo or release. Jesus does not give specific examples. The Bible also uses the terms put on, which can be interchanged with “bind,” and put off for “loose.” Ephesians 4:22-24 states, “To put off [loose] your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on [bind] the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” In prayer, you must first loose or put off your old self consisting of wrong thoughts and false beliefs so you can bind or put on your new self that conforms to the truth of God and be holy.

ONLY as we submit to the Lordship of Christ Jesus do we have dominion over the demonic world. James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” For example, as long as I worried about something, I was controlled and consumed by it. Satan was able to control my mind through that worry and keep me self-focused and in despair. He tempts me to imagine all the terrible things that will never happen, so I become angry. I let Satan steal my joy and peace. As soon as I submitted my concerns to God and put them in my “God Cares” box, then I could keep my mind on the things of God, and Satan could not torment me again. Satan cannot read your mind, but he does hear what you say. So RESOLVE to do what HEBREWS 13:15 says, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Modern King James says, “Confessing His name.” King James says, “Giving thanks to His name.

Conclusion

Because you have the life of Christ in you through the Holy Spirit, you have His divine power and authority. So, when you keep your mind on Christ through continual prayer and praise and by faith apply His truth, you will remain in victory over every scheme of the devil. You will suffer defeat when you let your mind dwell on the troubles and allurements of the world. So, daily submit your mind to God’s control and abide with Him through prayer and praise. Be watchful for pride because it blocks Christ’s power in your life for victory over demonic activity.

Reflections and Applications:

Why do you think submission to God’s authority is the key to keeping our victory?

Why do we need to keep our minds on heavenly things and not earthly things?

Section Footnotes:

1.  Demons in subjection to Jesus: Heb. 2:7–8.
2.  Authority over demons or evil spirits: Mat. 10:8; Mk. 6:7,13, 16:17; Lk. 9:1–2.
3. God’s thoughts are greater than ours: Is. 55:8–9.
4.  Doubt and sin block prayers: Ps. 66:18; Is. 59:1–2; Jm. 1:6–7.

RELATED POSTS

HOW TO PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD AND DEFEAT THE ENEMY

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR?

Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT DIE SPIRITUALLY


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

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).

Spiritual Warfare 4: How to Protect Your Mind

Who or what is directing your thoughts? How do you make decisions? Spiritual warfare is fighting the unseen battles through praying, praising, and pondering scripture. Only the Holy Spirit can see the unseen spirit world around us. The Holy Spirit is the helmet of salvation that protects our minds. Suppose we don’t take the helmet of salvation and put it on. In that case, we will be susceptible to every deception and temptation designed to destroy us. Temptations are made to look good but are deceitful, and they all begin as thoughts.

I said in the post called “What Happens If You Don’t Put On The Whole Armor?” that I thought Christian leaders fell into sin because they did not have on the “breastplate of righteousness.” After developing today’s post, I also believe they failed to put on their helmet of salvation. Not only did they not fear God and turn from evil, but they also did not rely on the Holy Spirit to discipline their minds. We, too, can be captured by sinful desires. Therefore, putting on all the spiritual armor of God has to be done every day because the unseen demonic world works 24/7. These evil entities seek to devastate your relationship with God and each other. We need the Holy Spirit to help us recognize thoughts of temptation and deception. He also convicts us of sin, so we can repent and restore peace with God and each other again. Ponder the following Scriptures:

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. – Romans 8:11

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. – Romans 8:5

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16

How do you know you have on the helmet of salvation?

Suppose you believe the truth and rely on Jesus to be righteous, but you don’t renew your mind and instead continue to live a worldly life. In that case, evil spirits will maintain control of your mind and tempt you to doubt your salvation. Worldly living keeps you from bearing the fruit of the Spirit because you are not abiding in the words and life of Jesus Christ (John 15:1-8). In his book The Weapons of Your Warfare, Larry Lea suggested you may not have salvation if you are not excited about it.1 Read over the following facts, and if they don’t make you happy and grateful, you need to evaluate if you have believed from your heart and have the Holy Spirit as your helmet. So are you:

  • Thankful that the blood of Jesus has redeemed you from destruction and the power of Satan.
  • Excited that Jesus, the perfect sacrificial lamb, rescued you from the wrath of God and forgave your sins.
  • Joyful that Jesus freed you from sin’s control that leads to death, and now you experience peace and abundant life.
  • Grateful that Jesus is preparing a place for you in Heaven so you can spend eternity with Him.
  • Thrilled that Jesus rose from the dead and sits next to God the Father interceding for you.
  • And so on.

When we receive forgiveness and redemption through Christ Jesus, the helmet of salvation helps us work out our salvation by daily renewing our minds with truth from God’s Word (Philippians 2:12, Ephesians 4:23, and Romans 12:2). 2Corinthians 4:16 states, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” You renew your mind by putting off resentments, false beliefs, and sinful desires, then putting on the truth and your new self. What does your new self look like?

Ephesians 4:24 states, “And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Colossians 3:10 states, “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

In his book Dressed to Kill, Rick Renner said, “The devil’s entrance into the life of a believer is allowed primarily through that believer’s negligence. He slips in through an uncommitted, unrenewed area of the mind.2” When you renew your mind with truth from God’s Word, Satan can no longer influence your mind in that area.

With the “helmet of salvation” on, you can do the following:

You walk by the Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit. With the helmet of salvation on, the Holy Spirit can guide your thoughts that support spiritual life and peace. Romans 8:6 states, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” When we walk by the Spirit, we will display the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

You can grow in your knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:5 says we find the knowledge of God when we fear Him. You reverently fear Him, and want to please Him. So you abide in His Word and practice your faith by keeping His commandments and doing good to others. Hosea 6:6 states, “For I [God] desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” And 1Corinthians 15:34 (KJV) states, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

We can take every thought captive to obey Christ. We must take every thought captive that goes against the knowledge of God. 2Corinthians 10:5 states, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Having on the helmet of salvation helps you capture arguments and lofty opinions the devil plants in your mind.

The Holy Spirit’s power will help you can submit to God and resist the devil. If you don’t submit to God and take ungodly thoughts captive, the ungodly thoughts will lure you into sin. When your thoughts are not submitted to God, you are not resisting the devil. Romans 8:7 states, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” With the helmet of salvation, you have the Holy Spirit’s divine power to take ungodly thoughts captive and submit your mind to God and be godly as you think His thoughts. See James 4:7-8. 1Timothy 4:7-9 states, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths [lies]. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Put on your helmet of salvation to safeguard your mind.

You have authority through Jesus Christ over ungodly thoughts. You have divine power through the Holy Spirit to not give in to sinful-fleshly desires but to live by the Spirit. Romans 8:13–14 states, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and daughters] of God.” And 1Peter 1:3 states, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

As a believer, you are a child of God, and you have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16b). So, because you have the mind of Christ, you can submit to the Holy Spirit and allow the fruit of the Spirit to control your life (Galatians 5:22-25). If you don’t submit to God and take ungodly thoughts captive, they will lure you into sin.

When I submit my concerns and conflicts to God, I can take offending thoughts captive, forgive, and not let the offense produce the fleshly desire to be angry and unkind. When I yield to the Spirit’s control and forgive offenses, I can be humble and patient. For example, someone was throwing trash in my yard when they drove past. Not just a little garbage, a lot. I suspected who it was through the process of elimination. I became offended, and I wanted to get them in trouble. Wait a minute, capture wrong thoughts. In prayer, I took my upsetting thoughts captive and put them off, and then I gave my frustration to God. The day I submitted my frustration to the Lord about the trash, someone had cleaned up the garbage in my yard when I was at work, and no one threw trash in my yard after that.

Conclusion

Daily pray: I put on the helmet of salvation and take every ungodly thought, offense, and unholy desire captive and make it submit to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. I have the mind of Christ and His authority to overcome every obstacle to my faith in Jesus, my Savior. I will forgive offenses quickly so the devil doesn’t get a foothold in my mind to produce the fleshly desire to be angry, impatient, and unkind. I will renew my mind with the truth in God’s Word daily. (2Cor. 10:3-5; 1Cor. 2:16b; Col. 2:9-10; Matt. 6:14-15; Eph. 4:26-27; Jam. 1:14-15.)


1. Lea, Larry. 1989. The Weapons of Your Warfare. Lake Mary, FL. Creation House.

2. Renner, Rick. 2007. Dressed to Kill. Tulsa: Teach the Nations.

RELATED POSTS:

Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT DIE SPIRITUALLY

Spiritual Warfare 3: HOW TO BATTLE FOR PEACE

How The Spirit Gives Life.

Are you in control of your life?

Part 2: How to Overcome Evil with Good.

Four Realities of the Spirit World

POSTS on Thoughts



All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Part 1: How to Achieve Genuine Goodness?

Why do people riot, cause trouble, and even kill people? What is good about destroying businesses and stealing their merchandise? So, what has happened to goodness? This post and the next will explore what goodness is and how to achieve it.  I have to admit, I only had a vague idea of what it meant to be good. I was challenged by what I found in my research. I hope you will be challenged too.

What does goodness mean? Which definition do you think describes goodness?

  • Obey instructions.
  • Be moral or virtuous by choosing the right actions and thinking and having a “good” character.
  • Be kind; generous; unselfish.
  • Have excellent quality, like good workmanship.

What does the Bible say about goodness?

Obey God’s instructions:

Deuteronomy 12:28Be careful to obey all these words … that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.  Also, read Jeremiah 42:6.

Turn away from evil: good is the opposite of evil:

To do evil is to cause harm or trouble. God, instead, wants us to pursue peace with all men (see Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14).  He also expects us to love one another, so when we do not love but are unkind, impatient, or destructive, we do evil (see 1Corinthians 13). 

1Peter 3:11let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Romans 12:21Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

1Thesalonians 5:15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. And, Proverbs 17:13If anyone returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.

Proverbs 11:27Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it. And, Proverbs 12:2A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices he condemns.

Isaiah 1:17learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Be humble and generous and ready to share with those in need:

1Timothy 6:17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18) They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19) thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Titus 3:14And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.

Hebrews 13:16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Rely on God’s goodness, not your own.

Most of us are born, grow-up, and die as selfish, self-centered sinners; wanting our needs met instead of loving and caring for other people. So, how can we achieve the standard of God’s goodness? Only through the power of the Holy Spirit as you humbly renew your mind with the truth of God’s Word. If you are uncertain that you have the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, then pray and ask God to forgive your sins and ask the Holy Spirit of Jesus to come into your heart. Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit to do good.  Act 10:38 states, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”

How should good deeds benefit others?

The good deeds we do are from faith in Jesus and are like the good fruit on a tree or vine (see Matthew 7:15-20). In John 15:5, Jesus states, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

James 2:15-18If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17) So also, faith, if it does not have (good) works, is dead being by itself. 18)  But someone will say, you have faith, and I have (good) works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works.

1John 3:17-18But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18) Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Galatians 6:10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith

Luke 6:33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

Hebrews 10:24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

Matthew 5:16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

You can love your enemies and do good to those who hate you through the power of the Holy Spirit in you. And, God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil, and so can we through His goodness. 

Luke 6:35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

Luke 6:27— “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

We receive God’s goodness when we fear Him and take refuge when trouble comes:

Psalm 31:19Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

King Solomon said at the end of his life in Ecclesiastes 3:12I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live.

Conclusion

I asked at the beginning of this post, what definition described goodness. The answer is all the above. When I began this post, I did not know much about goodness.  I learned it is good to obey God and do what is right, to share, and help others in need. One word of caution, your perception of good works can be a source of legalism and judgmentalism. To learn more, read my post called How To Overcome Legalism And Judgmentalism.  Doing good also raises another controversy.  Some people believe that being a good person and doing good works gets you to heaven.  The Bible says we are saved by grace and believing in the Son of God.  I write in my post called What Is Required?, we also need to do the will of our Father in heaven, which is to obey God’s instructions to do good works because of our faith. Those who riot and destroy are following their evil nature.  We all need the power of the Holy Spirit through believing in Jesus Christ to be genuinely good.

Do you obey God’s instructions in the Bible?

Do you sacrificially help others in need and share what you have with them?

Do you avoid evil and do good to others, even if they hate you?

All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.