Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Key to Exercising Authority over Satan

Struggle: Every day we accept and exercise authority in most area's of our lives. In fact, most new reports are filled with people exercising their authority or their rights. So... Why is it so hard to exercise our right when it comes to living the Christian life?  

Scripture Truth:
“Submit to Christ, resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Truth Encounter:
The crowds witnessed as Jesus exercised his authority throughout his ministry, healing the sick, raising the dead, calming storms, walking on water, and casting out demons. It must have been confusing as the crowds watched Jesus take a beating that should have killed him. It must have been confusing as they watched his followers walk away. It seemed that Jesus had given up all authority as he spoke his last words, “It is finished,” and took his last breath.

It appeared Jesus was defeated, as Jesus was taken from the cross and buried. But we know the rest of the story. Jesus' work on the cross was finished. But what seemed to be the end was only the beginning. For the work of the cross was still yet to be seen. However, three days later Jesus raised himself from the grave and completed the work that he came to do. 

Jesus came to give us eternal life. No where does the scripture say, "Believe on Jesus so you can go to heaven." Some say, "All you have to do to be saved is to believe that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised from the dead," and you will be saved. This is true but acknowledging this truth does not result in a transformed life. Satan also believed this and he is still filled with lies and deceit. So what are we to believe? The Son of God had defeated Satan (1 John 1:8). Christ died to destroy the power of sin in the lives of God’s people. 

Because Adam and Eve sinned, we were born with Adam's sin nature. We cannot live the fullest if we are captive to sin in our lives. But Jesus came to defeat the power of sin in our lives.  Jesus came to defeat sins  said that He must go so that he could send the Holy Spirit which would live in the lives of believers.

How do we stand in victory? How are we able to exercise the authority given to us? James 4:7 tells us, “Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Did you get that? 

  1. Submit to God. Before we can exercise spiritual authority we must be under the authority of God, submitting to His Lordship in our lives.We must receive the truth, believe the truth, and act upon our authority in Christ. As long as you allow Satan to deceive you into giving up, or moving out from under your authority of God through temptation, accusation, or deception, you will NOT be able to resist him. How do we act upon our authority?
  2. Resist the Devil. We must exercise our authority in Jesus Christ over Satan. If we know God's Word then we know we must obey God. If you are being disobedient to God you are inadvertently submitting to Satan.
  3. And he will Flee from You. Spiritual warfare is not a power encounter, it is a truth encounter. A man cannot serve two masters. When we resist Satan's temptations by submitting to God in obedience to His Word. As we deny Satan's authority over our lives, and choose to live for Christ, Satan will flee. 

Have you tried to resist the devil but were unsuccessful? What are you struggling with: pride, rebellion, bitterness, jealously, anger, un-forgiveness? Each time you are tempted, say "yes" to God, and "no" to Satan's authority over your life, and be obedient to His Word and Satan will flee. Keep in mind this is not a one time event. We will always be confronted with sin and as we deny Satan he will up the auntie. But as we practice obedience to God it becomes easier to detect Satan's attempts to trick or deceive us. 

How have you exercised authority in your life to remain obedient to Christ? My next post will be a personal story. I hope you will share one of your personal stories.

Dear Father, thank you for the gift of eternal life. Help me to exercise my faith by receiving and believing your truth, by submitting to you, and by acting upon the authority of Christ within me to resist the devil. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.