Nov 11, 2009, 12:51 PM
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Our Lord Jesus Christ after triumphing over this world has given us the authority and power to also triumph over adversity, to surmount every obstacle put in our way and to break every chain intended by the adversary to keep us bound. Ordinarily, we could not have, but because he has completed the work he was assigned to do by his Father when he crushed the serpent with his heels, he was able to delegate that power to us. On the cross he exclaimed as he breathed his last; “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
The battle we are waging is against principalities and powers in high places whose intentions are far from noble. “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 spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) They are the forces of darkness bent on wrecking havoc the world over. These forces are wicked in all their deeds and are opposed to the living God. They intend to make the world God created and pronounced ‘good’ to be unbearable to live in and in so doing discredit God. Their motives are far from honourable.
The mission of Satan and his cohorts is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). To this end, they have created strongholds in our lives. Strongholds keep us bound as if we are in chains – something we cannot break free from. At least at first sight that is what it looks like. In everyday language, it is known as addiction. However hard you try, you just cannot seem to break loose. Life becomes a great hurdle with opposition on every side and you live a life of woe.
The good news is that all those who were supposedly bound by the devil were delivered totally after encountering Jesus. Strongholds collapsed like a pack of cards. Some evil spirits begged Jesus for clemency, others recognised him and his power and vacated the premises they had occupied, some staged a last ditch attempt as if to impress the crowd but they left the stronghold nevertheless.
The New Testament records multiple instances of such encounters.
Jesus had just returned from Mount Carmel where he was transfigured. At the foot of the mountain was a lad who suffered from seizures whom his disciples could not deliver. As soon as the demons saw Jesus they tossed the boy and make it look like he would not come out of it. But Jesus called for the boy and he “... rebuked the demon and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.” (Matthew 17:18)
Today, just as in first century Israel, the devil is on the rampage seeking to devour God’s children and to have them bound in the various traps set to delude them, activities that do not honour God - all of which are contrary to God’s laws. Every act of disobedience to God’s commands is an invitation to flirt with the devil. The danger is camouflaged in attractive gift wraps that sooner rather than later will explode in our faces when the sin is fully consummated.
God wants us as his children to be on the alert, fully aware that the devil is not idle but is around seeking whom to devour. We must resist him not by our power or might, but by the blood of the Lamb and the word of God which is our sword.Realise that you cannot fight against the devil single-handed. You need Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. God gave him that assignment and he pursued it the end by taking captivity captive. Every chain by which the enemy has got us bound must be broken and every stronghold demolished for our liberation. The way to do it is by putting our whole trust in Jesus. Satan hears that name and trembles. Jesus saves and salvation is free.