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).

How the Devil Causes Trouble

Can the devil and demons cause us trouble? The quick answer, yes. The long answer, yes, but God sets limits and promises to be with you, and restore you. God also promises to rescue those who fear and love Him from all their troubles. Psalms 91:14 tells us, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name.” For more details, see my blog post called Psalm 91:14-16 — RESCUED FROM TROUBLES. Psalm 34:7 states, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Example of a demon afflicting the Apostle Paul.

The Apostle Paul describes how a demon afflicted him in 2Corinthians 12:7-9,

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8) Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9) But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God’s grace is enough for us when we suffer hardships. God’s grace is His power in your life. No one knows what the thorn in the flesh was, but Paul did not like it and pleaded with God to remove it. In 2Corinthians 12:10 Paul stated, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Also, in Philippians 4:11 Paul said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

An example in the Apostle Peter’s life.

In Luke 22:31-32 Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you (demanded permission), that he might sift you like wheat, 32) but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.Your faith will be tested, so expect it. During the test, turn your eyes on God in prayer and receive His comfort.

Paul states in 2Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” God knows hardships are inevitable, so comfort others with the same comfort you received from Him. Jesus comforted Peter after Satan tested his faith (see John 21:15-17), so Peter could have compassion for those whose faith is being tested and can comfort them.

Example in the Christian church.

Jesus says in Revelation 2:10, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Know that God is with you no matter what the hardship is, and you can trust Him to keep His promises to deliver you from all your troubles. Jesus tells us in John 16:33,  “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  And the reason why we have tribulations is explained in 1John 5:19b, which states, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

Only as you stay in prayer, trusting God to strengthen your faith as you endure the hardship, will you be victorious. 1John 4:4 tells us, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Jesus is greater than Satan, so you can endure in Christ’s strength as Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

To clear up any confusion you may have, I am not saying all hardships come from the devil.  Many hardships come through our self-centered, sinful, choices.  This concept will be fleshed out in the next blog post.

The example of Job.

We can’t forget about Job (sounds like robe) and the hardships Satan caused. He was very wealthy and devoted to God. But with God’s permission, Satan caused Job’s children to die, lose his wealth, and tormented him with boils over his entire body. Job 1:8-12, states,

And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’ 9) Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? 10) Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11) But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’ 12) And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Many truths can be found in the book of Job. Job never curses God, and at the end of the story, God gives Job twice as much as he had before (see Job 42:10-17). Could Job’s fear have opened him up to his hardships? Job 3:25 states, “For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.” The Hebrew literal interpretation is “I feared a fear, and it came upon me.”

Fear comes when you stop trusting in God’s protection and focus on the what-ifs that may never happen. Job’s fears opened the door to allow Satan to bring destruction into his life. Many people have unrealistic fears that cause them to become “preppers” (people who stockpile food and goods) for something that may never happen. Some people have a debilitating fear of germs or disease, which entraps them in restrictive behavior. God says in Isaiah 41:10, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Put off the wrong thoughts that lead to fear and pride and bind in the truth, God is your protection and your provider. Read my post on how fear controls you and that God will not forsake you.

There is hope when you look to Jesus to strengthen you and to deliver you from your hardships.  I am praying for you. Please leave a comment, I like to hear what your thoughts are.


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website 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.

P.S.: Experiencing 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).

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