Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
In the past few lessons, we have been learning of truth that have strongly challenged what most of us have been taught and believed in the past. We appreciate that many times it becomes difficult to change our mind sets but it is the truth. It is the truth that truly sets us free! Last week we asked ourselves a very important question “Do Christians Wrestle with Demons?” that brought us to another level of understanding of our place and authority in Christ. We looked at the definition of the word “Wresting” and today we are going to expound on this word!
This is important because once believers understand their authority in Christ and begin to appropriate the finished work of the Cross, they will understand exactly what kind of "wrestling" it is that believers are to engage in. We need to know and teach others what the Word says. We need to know and teach others who we and they are in Christ and what our blood-bought covenant rights and privileges are in our redemption. Our authority over the devil and how to use this authority in Christ to deal scripturally with the powers of darkness.
ONLY ONE FIGHT!
We have only been called to fight one fight! The faith fight—trusting God's Word to work for you—is the only fight the Bible says believers are to fight. The Bible says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Heb. 4:11). We labour to come into God's rest of faith: “For we which have believed do enter into rest....” (Heb. 4:3). Some believers are labouring trying to defeat the enemy when all they need to do is enter into the rest of faith because they believe the Word. Believers don't have to overpower and overcome the devil or "wrestle" him in their own strength. We only "wrestle" demonic forces by our faith in God's Word from a position of victory seated with Christ because we have authority over demons in Christ. That's why the only wrestling we engage in is the faith fight. If we are in any other fight, we are in the wrong fight: “Fight the good fight of faith ….” (1 Tim. 6:12). You see, sometimes you have to "wrestle” to stay in faith, because as long as the devil can keep you in the sense realm where he is god, and you look at the circumstances, he'll whip you every time. But as long as you stay in the faith realm depending on God's Word to put you over, you'll whip him every time.
FROM THE VICTORIOUS POSITION
One of the interesting revelations we have learnt from this study is that we are an “Occupying Army” and not a “Warring Army”. If you are a believer, you are in Christ and you have authority over satanic forces now. You don't have to labour to attain authority over Satan because Jesus provided that in your redemption by defeating those principalities and powers for you. So you are not coming to prayer with the idea that you have to whip principalities and powers. Jesus did that for you on the Cross.
We have been taught in this assembly that the salvation package is a complete one that was made available over 2000 years ago! That by it we were already healed, made whole, prospered, blessed, victorious, more than conquerors, etc.
Yes, these principalities and powers try to come against our lives. As it is in any war; the occupying army still carry guns to protect territories that have been taken. That is why Ephesians 6:11 says: "put on the whole armour of God.” Although we are not “warring”, we are admonished to stay alert and guard our minds and not be “swayed” by naysayers who want to shift us away from, and try to blind our eyes to our victorious position in Christ (1 Cor. 2:6; Col. 2:15).
So when you come to prayer, always pray from the understanding that the same principalities and powers the Bible says we wrestle against in Ephesians 6:12 were thoroughly defeated, dethroned, and stripped of their authority in your life by Jesus Christ (Col. 2:15).
BE STRONG IN THE LORD
The Bible says in Ephesians 6:10 that the believer is to “... be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” You hear folks say, "Well, I'm trying to be strong." But the Bible doesn't say a thing about being strong in yourself. Paul said, “... when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).
Many times in the circumstances we face in life, we can feel weak, empty, and helpless in ourselves. But, thank God, we can lean on the promises of God. We can go to the Rock, and stand fast on His Word. Paul said, “... we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor. 1:8,9).
The reason you need to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might is so that you can stand your ground against the wiles of the devil "in the evil day" (Eph.4:13). The evil day is when Satan will come to test, try, and tempt you, and you will have to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might so you can take your stand of faith against him. One way you become strong in the Lord is by putting on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:11-18).
You put on the full armour of God for two reasons:
• For protection in your prayer life. Once you have the armour on, you are ready to pray—you are dressed for prayer. The object of putting on the armour is so you can enter into prayer.
• To help you stand in life against the wiles, tests, and trials of the devil.
We have already extensively studied about the armour of God so today we will have a quick recap.
THE ARMOR OF GOD
The Bible says first, "put on the whole armour of God..." (Eph. 6:11). In Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word for "put" is enduo. It has the sense of sinking into a garment; to invest with clothing, to array or clothe, to endue, have, or put on something.
So to be strong in the Lord you need to put on or sink into the armour of God as your protection against the wiles of the devil. Then in verse 13, the Bible says, "... take unto you the whole armour of God...." According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word "take" means to take up. In other words, once you've got the armour of God on, then you've got to do something with it—use it!
Paul used an example of the armour of a Roman soldier here to give us a picture of what the armour of God is like.
The helmet of salvation is the knowledge of your position in God because of your salvation and redemption in Christ. It includes having your mind renewed to know and understand your rights and privileges in Christ and who you are in Christ. The helmet of salvation protects your mind—Satan's chief battleground.
The girdle of truth represents a clear understanding of God's Word. Like a soldier's belt, it holds the rest of the armour in place.
The breastplate of righteousness. That refers to your right-standing with God. When you accept Jesus, you become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). (Rom. 8:17): "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ"
Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. To be effective in prayer, you must walk in the light of God's Word (1 John 1:7). It's hard to walk when the path before you is dark. But with the light of God's Word, you never have to walk in darkness under Satan's dominion.
The shield of faith. Notice verse 16 says, "above all, taking the shield of faith ... wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
The sword of the Spirit: Every part of the armour is protective or defensive, except one, and that is the sword of the Spirit. The sword of the Spirit—the Word of God—is the only part of the armour you fight with.
The scriptural way to deal with forces of darkness is with the sword of the Spirit. That was how Jesus dealt with the devil in His earthly ministry. (Luke 4:1,2). In every temptation, Jesus said, "It is written" (Matt. 4:4,7,10; Luke 4:4,8,12). Jesus Himself quoted the Word of God, using the Word against the devil as a sword. In that sense, Jesus was "fighting" or "wrestling" with the devil. But the only weapon Jesus used against the devil was faith in the Word of God.
There is yet one more important truth to be armed with as we “fight” the fight of faith and this is, we can't be strong in the Lord without appropriating the saving power of His blood. Read Colossians 1:13,14. Every benefit and blessing we possess in our redemption, including complete and total victory over Satan, is based on Jesus and His triumph over Satan at the Cross. We have victory over Satan because of Jesus' shed blood. The old-timers in Pentecost understood a truth about the blood of Jesus. They would plead the blood against the devil. That's scriptural.
When you plead the blood against the devil, you are really pleading your covenant rights of protection against the enemy (Isa. 54:17; Luke 10:19; Phil. 2:9,10; Col. 1:13).
Revelation 12:11 says: “And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.”