“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.”
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?
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.
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
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