Reading the news these days is frustrating, no matter what political opinion you hold. We expect democracies to represent the will of their people, but it seems like corruption is running wild. It makes you want to shout at your TV when you hear journalists distort stories to promote their favorite side, when politicians act as if they’re innocent as doves, and when you know that instead of fighting for the good of people who voted for them, they’re ignoring them. And then there’s all the violence and terrorist atrocities, the racism, the attack on Christian values, world financial leaders who manipulate trillions of dollars behind closed doors, while ordinary citizens are barely able to pay their bills.
People are angry at the unbelievable injustice and venting on social media, but what good does that do? Politics and the world economy are so complex, it’s a giant tangled mess, and a lot of politicians want it to stay that way for their own benefit. There’s a saying in Brazil when people don’t know what more to do. They sigh, shrug their shoulders, and say, “Only Jesus…” But Jesus is saying, “It’s up to you!”
In the famous passage in Ephesians 6, Paul explains that our fight is against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. They are part of the hierarchy of demons that oversee entire nations and groups of people, working to destroy the effectiveness of the true Church of Jesus Christ in every area of the world. They are the ones that torture and persecute Christians who are forced to worship in underground churches in China, North Korea and various Muslim countries where Christianity is outlawed. Principalities work in other countries to manipulate the mindset of people to idolize wealth and prosperity without giving any thought to God. Or they make church leaders weak and powerless so that even if a country provides freedom of worship, Christianity is reduced to a useless social club. Whatever can be done to diminish the name of Jesus, these principalities will do their utmost to make it happen.
If our battle is not against flesh and blood, no amount of anger at your politicians will do any good – but engaging in warfare against the principalities over your neighborhood, city and nation, will. They are the forces working through every corrupt and immoral government. I’ve heard Christians say that only those with a special calling can pray against principalities because confronting powerful spirits is dangerous for a simple Christian. What a bunch of hogwash! God is clearly calling all of His followers to put on the armor and go into battle against all levels of demonic powers. The only people who need to fear being harmed in this battle are false, half-hearted Christians. Whoever is living to please their flesh, is choosing to reject the protection of God and need to cast out the demonic influence in their own lives before attacking the principalities around them. But the moment someone is sincere in faith, dies to their flesh and chooses to live for Jesus, He instantly grants them the right to use His name and authority to trample the powers of darkness. But who among us are really doing that?
There is no way I could ever affect any changes on my own, so I simply do what the Bible commands me to do. I pray for my own country, and for my adopted country of Brazil every day, binding up the principalities that want to destroy lives and block the gospel from being spread. I pray to bind up the demons that manipulate churches and church leaders to make faith in Jesus a joke among unbelievers. I pray against the demons that inflate the egos and selfish desires of world leaders, the demons that work day and night to propagate more drugs and human trafficking and abuse and violence and all other perversions. We are the Body of Christ and are called to fight for Him through our testimony, in the way we live our lives, but also in the way we fight in faith through prayer on a daily basis to rescue the suffering. No one else in this world has the authority we have, but most of us forget to use it.
I challenge each of you to take up this fight more aggressively than you’ve been doing. When you hear news that angers you, fight! When you know that a big decision is about to be made in your country, fight! When you feel like hell itself is rising up, use the authority you’ve been given, stand firm and rebuke those principalities in the Name above all names. If every true Christian took up their armor and engaged in battle daily, our world would change radically!
Is this difficult for you to practice or understand? Stay tuned for the next post when we’ll explore more of this concept.
Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13, MEV