I was asked this week about tips on how to remind yourself to tie up demonic forces every day. I answered that it has to become an integral part of our lives, even mixed into our worship, our devotions, the asking of requests, our thanksgiving—everything. If confronting the devil is seen as a to-do item on a prayer list, it’ll only happen during specified times in church services, or only when extremely stressful situations remind us of the need. If that’s the case, there’s not much of a difference between our faith and Christians who don’t even believe in spiritual warfare, and the fruit of our lives will be the same. I know a lot of our own church members who live in this mediocre state.
I often see people in the process of deliverance getting tangled up in old religious ideas. They have a false impression of what freedom in Christ is supposed to be like. They yearn for an emotional high, a sense of elation, and imagine that they’ll always be smiling and quoting the Bible and praying in tongues, and that miracles will instantly appear at their fingertips—kind of like a magical Disney character. This false expectation is so common, I have no doubt that it’s demonic—a hyped up illusion that eventually crashes into to disappointment and anger when it doesn’t come true. They completely forget that daily warfare is not an option, but a lifestyle. It’s just one more reason we keep hammering home the message of thinking faith, and not emotionalism.
When real spiritual warfare is going on, the authority of Jesus’ name is being used, and the power of God’s Spirit goes out to fight and destroy demonic forces according to our faith. This has nothing to do with us “manipulating” God or forcing Him to do what we want. It has everything to do with us obeying His commands. His weapons are meant for us to use according to His will, and He promises to accomplish His will through us as partners—weak, unworthy partners, but still partners. If we don’t use His weapons, we’re opting not to obey, as simple as that. But when we do use them, not only do miracles happen, but we grow closer and closer to God. As we fight darkness, His light floods into us. It’s a powerful way of honoring God while knowing that not one miracle that happens is from ourselves, but all are from Him. And in the middle of the battle is when we really get to know Him, we see a glimpse of His face, hear His voice, feel His arms around us and know without a doubt that we are victorious, safe and protected. It’s not an emotional high, it’s a deeper spiritual wisdom.
New Christians who are learning how to fight for their freedom can either grab this concept and go all the way, or they can take a longer, more painful, confusing route. Fighting halfway is miserable and exhausting. Seeking deliverance as an addition to emotional religious habits doesn’t work. Hoping that your pastor will do all the fighting for you so you can go on with your slightly more cleaned up life, won’t bring complete freedom, and it doesn’t do you any good to complain to God that the process is too hard.
“But when I rebuke the devil, he hits me back even harder! I’m tired of trying and getting attacked over and over!” One truth is important to understand. When you are fully devoted to God, not just in words or emotional wishes, but when the daily choices of what you do, think, and determine show that you are fully devoted to Him, you are hidden in Christ. Satan cannot find you. He can’t drag you down and accuse you anymore. You completely confuse him, and his tactics have no more power. He can be so convinced that he is about to win a huge victory, and at the last minute be left stunned at his defeat. He won’t be able to figure you out because you will be living in such an intense light of God, that he is blinded, and you are hidden.
This week I have seen Satan stunned and defeated and reeling in confusion. It brings me joy, but also a greater fear of how powerful and good our God is. We can’t afford to allow a single day to pass without engaging in God’s war. Don’t do it half-heartedly. Die to everything that is in the way of your total surrender to God, engage in this battle now and let His power hide you in His light.
If you then were raised with Christ, desire those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then you also shall appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 MEV