Recently I went to visit a church. After a wonderful time of worship the pastor stepped forward. Without even acknowledging God or mentioning Him in any capacity he launched into full-blown warfare binding devils, witches and every principality he could think of. You could feel the atmosphere change and not for the good. As he continued he finally managed to corral the congregation via guilt and whipped them up to a fine frenzy that looked and sounded like Baal worship by the time it was over.
I stood in fascination. All I could think was I wondered how God really felt about what I had just witnessed. I thought how would I feel if someone came to my house marched past me and spent all their time shouting orders at my servants without acknowledging me? After all if they acknowledged me it would take one word from me for my servants to do what they desired by my bidding.
Jesus said to take his yoke because it was easy and his burden is light. Yet a lot of believers make serving God a lot harder than God ever intended. They work as if working for an idol made of wood who cannot respond or help them instead of approaching a merciful and interested Father God who has invited us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. This same God says the battle is His not ours. To be still and know that He is God. To stand fast and see the salvation of the Lord.
Yes the devil is real. Yes, he seeks whom he may devour. Yes he has power. Yes we need to respect that power and observe the right spiritual protocol when dealing with him. Yes it is true that we should not be ignorant of the devils devices and people perish for lack of knowledge. However all of this needs to be put into proper theological perspective. We must align ourselves with the knowledge of God and not pervert His principles based on culture, the occult, fetish or juju spirituality. God’s ways are not our ways. He says our lives will be transformed with the renewing of our minds, therefore we must cast off old mindsets and not try to blend them with the unadulterated word of God.
Though we battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, rulers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. The inference is that we should not take the things that happen around us personally. We should know the source behind the occurrence and see with spiritual eyes the root cause. When we know what the root is we will have the right response. We will not draw back in fear, fall into depression, give into anger, bitterness and un-forgiveness because we are armed with salvation, truth, faith, and the word of God that will direct and navigate us through the circumstance to victory.
Knowing that the person who offends or hurts us is being manipulated by evil redirects your focus to not internalize what was done but to seek God for direction and victory.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Collossians 1:16-17
The bottom line is God has ultimate authority and power over even evil and uses it all for His own purpose to complete His plan. The devil is a created being under the thumb of God though he seems to run rampant. He has already defeated the devil and the devil knows it. Believers also need to know it and keep him and his works in perspective.
Let us do the math. The devil led one third of the angels from heaven. This leaves two thirds of the heavenly host aligned with God, plus all the believers on earth. The devil is outnumbered! He is neither Omnipotent nor Omnipresent. He does not have time to harass you 24-7. He can’t continue to barrage you unless you give him a point of entry. That point of entry is sin. A curse without cause cannot alight. The prophet Balaam said “I can not curse what God has blessed.” When we submit to God and resist the devil he will flee from us. This is one act, not two. Submission to God is automatic resistance to the enemy. He cannot get to us when we are aligned with God. Our obedience becomes the secret place of the most High so that we abide under the shadow of the Almighty. His presence is a fortress that protects us from the enemy, where no weapon formed against us can prosper.
Jesus stripped the devil of all power. When he died, he descended and took the keys of Hell and Death. Satan can’t even go to hell without the permission of Jesus. Jesus has to let him in! No one can die until their appointed time appointed by God. Hell and Death belong to God. Therefore we don’t have to live in fear of anything because to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ.
God says that He will contend with those who contend with us. Trouble those who trouble us and rebuke the devourer for our sakes. The battle is not ours but it is the Lords’. What then should be the focus of our contention? We are instructed to contend for the faith.
So what do we believe? God is Sovereign. We are not subject to the devil. Neither do we have to spend all our time talking to, yelling at or rebuking the devil. There are seasons and times for that. As we are directed by the Holy Spirit in prayer He will call our attention to what we need to confess. But it is God that does battle for us in this dispensation. His battle on our behalf is empowered by our obedience to Him. As the devil operates in legalities he can only attack that which is uncovered. God will not and cannot justify or cover sin. The devil has become a decoy from our own sin. We no longer want to be responsible for our choices, therefore it is easier to say it is the devil instead of claiming ownership for our circumstances.
If we look at history there were only two times that the Israelites went into battle. One, when claiming the promises of God, and two fighting for freedom from their enemies. When they fought to claim the promises of God, God fought for them and won the battle for them. When in bondage to their enemies the cause was always because they had sinned. It was their own sin that lead to their enemies overpowering them and taking them into bondage. When they cried out to God, he taught their hands to war so that they would recognize the state of their own hearts, repent and appreciate the mercy of God and His blessing. Whenever they forgot and fell back into sin they were recaptured.
When we look at the story of Job it is clear that the enemy had to seek permission from God to attack him. God gave Satan permission but it was on the basis of the sins of Job’s children. Job made offerings for his children but he could not be their redeemer. Therefore the door was open for the devil to wipe them out when they sinned. They partied all day and drew their sisters into their feasts. However Job was seen as righteous in the eyes of God. God made a hedge around him and his household that the enemy could not penetrate. But grace was lifted from everybody else around him and they were no longer protected from the enemy. There always has to be an open door before the enemy can strike. In spite of all these great losses Job did not sin or lay charge against God foolishly. Job continued to worship God. He did not give into the influence of his wife or even his friends. This is why Satan was not given permission to kill Job. Satan was used by God to make Job even greater than before.
Every attack on our lives should purify us more. To every blessing there is a process. If we believe that when trouble comes we will remember that Jesus already fought and defeated the enemy in our lives. We are to stand armed with the word ready to submit to every Word that God has spoken. As Jesus did in the wilderness when tempted by the devil. Jesus took every curse on the tree. Arm yourselves with this truth. You are grafted into a new family. Free from generational curses. You now inherit the generational blessings of Jesus Himself as you have been made a joint heir. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament therefore we live there no longer. We have entered the dispensation of grace that speaks greater truth. As we walk in obedience God builds a hedge around us. The only time it is lowered is when we ourselves choose to sin or if God chooses to take us through a process that will make us greater in order to receive greater blessing.
So let us look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He is our focus. He is our strong tower the righteous run into and they are safe. Let us stop going through the motions and fooling ourselves into thinking we can really order the heavens around. It is not proper spiritual protocol. We have given the devil way too much credit. And not given God enough credit for being Lord of His creation. The devil was created and so are we. He is Lord over all. Let us become the worshippers He called us to be. He is looking for worshippers to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Not warriors warring for our own personal gain. He is calling for worshippers who want to further His kingdom agenda. When the kingdom is established we will all experience true peace and joy.
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