Over our past 2 outreaches, I’ve been invited in to homes to pray over ‘weird spiritual activity.’ Basically, two of our neighbors have been having demonic influences in their home and it’s been manifesting in many destructive ways.
Last night in our men’s Bible study of Mark, we read about how Jesus’ first message caused a demon to cry out, “I know who you are, Jesus of Nazareth; the Holy One of God!” There’s been a fair amount of interest on the topic lately, so I thought I’d share just a little bit of what I know.
(When I use the terms “Light” and “Dark”, I am not referring to tone or color, but to the ability to see or not see.)
- God is Light. There is no darkness in Him at all.
- Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy.
- Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.
- Jesus has authority over every ruler, power, and authority in the heavenly realms.
- Jesus wants His Spirit, which is Holy, to live inside of us. We are made to be the temple of the Living God, full of Light with no dark corners. We are to be a house with no empty rooms, full of God’s Spirit which has all authority over darkness. We are to have the same authority over darkness that Jesus had (the same power that raised Christ from the dead is alive in us)
- If we walk in the light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with God and each other.
- To walk in the light means that we must confess our sins to God and each other. If we do this, we are forgiven and we can continue walking in light. If we refuse, we attempt to cover up that ‘thing’ and give room for the enemy to influence and control us in that area.
- All authority was given to Jesus. Jesus commissioned us in His authority.
- Jesus had authority because He was submitted to the Father.
- We have authority when we are submitted to Jesus.
This isn’t about living a perfect life or trying really hard to be ‘pure’, but it’s about being honest with Jesus about our struggles and asking for grace to help overcome them.
ITS NOT HOW LOUD YOU SHOUT
On one occasion about a year ago, I was at a brother’s house who struggles with addiction. On this particular day, he was both drunk and high but was feeling tormented by a demon. He began loudly rebuking the demon and screaming at it to go away. My advice to him was something along the lines of: “what Satan hates more than your screaming at him, is your obedience to Jesus.”
In Acts 19 we read about the sons of Sceva. They had heard of the works of Paul and others who were casting out evil spirits in Jesus’ Name. They tried it on the wrong guy:
“Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all[a] of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
They got their butt whooped because they knew about Jesus’ Name and authority, but were not in a proper relationship with Him.
BE CAREFUL HOW YOU LIVE
In Matthew 12, Jesus relates how demons work:
43“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
On another occasion a couple years ago, I was praying over a man addicted and high on meth. He confessed his need for Jesus, and as I was praying over him he mentioned that he felt something leave his body. A red-like veil had vanished from his eyes and he could see clearly. I warned him of this scripture, but unfortunately I saw the proof of God’s word as he became more addicted and his situation more severe over the coming months. Jesus finally intervened and sent him to prison.
When we are properly submitted to Christ, we can exercise our authority over the demonic. However, darkness cannot drive out darkness. We must be full of God’s Light to have true authority. We become full of God’s light by acknowledging the truth about who Jesus is and our confessing our sin to Him.
It is possible to live in such a way that we are neither unaware nor afraid of the devil’s schemes. Jesus has all dominion. A life submitted to Him will suffer violence and trials of faith. These should not buffet us to the point of getting off square. They should be expected as part of the package.
The solution is found in Hebrews 12.
FIX YOUR EYES AND JESUS AND DON’T TURN AWAY:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.