Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Last week we looked at breaking the power of the devil. We embarked on an intelligence gathering mission - identifying the operations of the enemy to be able to break his power.
Today we will be looking at an interesting topic that answers some of the misconceptions about when believers should exercise their authority. Christians have been given authority over demons, yet very few even understand it, much less use it. There are those who believe we can't have much of anything now; they think Satan is the one running everything down here and that we cannot do anything about it!
A FEW GROUND RULES
• We must remember that although we are in the world, we are not of the world. (John 17:16)
• Satan's running a lot of what is here on earth, but he's not running everything! And definitely not you and me! (Romans 6:14)
• He's not running the Church. (Matt. 16:18)
• He's not dominating us; we can dominate him. (Luke 10:19)
• We have authority over him! (Luke 10:19)
DEALING WITH IGNORANCE
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. There are even sincere Christians who believe that demons or the devil do not really exist, but are metaphors for serious human problems. Though one does not have to believe in the devil to be saved, such beliefs which are in direct conflict with the Scriptures have to be one of the devil's most effective deceptions. The devil dwells in darkness or hiddenness. If he can make Christians believe that he does not exist, he has certainly been successful at hiding himself. Added to this is the erroneous belief that there is nothing we can do about him! But Ephesians 6:10-18 paints a different picture:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Emphasis mine
In Luke 10:19, Jesus also said:
''Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over ALL the power of the enemy: and nothing [nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing] shall by any means hurt you".
We need to build these truths into our lives by meditating and feeding upon them until they become a part of our consciousness.
Naturally speaking, we eat certain foods every day because doctors tell us we need certain vitamins, minerals, etc., to build strong bodies. There are spiritual "vitamins" and "minerals," so to speak, we need to take every day, too, to be healthy Christians.
John 8:32 (NIV) says:
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
WHY GIVE POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT CANNOT BE EXERCISED?
Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, "...ALL POWER is given unto ME in heaven and in earth." All the authority that can be exercised upon the earth has to be exercised through the Church (you and me), because Christ is not here in person—in His physical body.
The Church in this century does not have less authority than it did right after Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and seating at the Father's right hand? If it has less authority today, it would have been better for Jesus not to have died. But no, bless God, we have authority.
Many problems exist because we permit them to—we're not doing anything about them. We're the ones who are supposed to do something about them, but we're trying to get someone else, including God, to do something about them. When we are faced with difficult circumstances we need to remember our authority! There are some situations that require more than only prayers but by exercising our authority. Matt. 18:18 talks about exercising our authority:
“Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Exercising or taking authority implies rebuking, commanding, binding, casting out, loosening and giving orders in Jesus’ name! The devil may try to challenge your authority by his cunning suggestions but we need to know that when a king gives an order, he knows it's going to be carried out.
We are the Body of Christ. Even though we have prayed, leaving everything up to Him, He has conferred His authority on the earth to His Body, the Church. And what use is authority if it cannot be exercised when it is needed?
The trouble is that we relegate everything to the future! Most church people believe we will exercise our spiritual authority sometime in the Millennium. If that is so, why does the Bible say Satan will be bound during the Millennium? There won't be any need to exercise authority then, because there will be nothing that will hurt or destroy. It's now that we must exercise the authority we have been given; especially when there is something that will hurt and destroy, that we have authority.
Luke 10:19 (AMP) says:
"Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you." Emphasis mine
Parts of this study was culled from The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.