If you’re waiting for God to do something about the devil, you’re too late. You’ve already been given authority over your spiritual adversaries. Nowhere in the New Testament are we told to pray that God would do something about the devil. Nor are we told to wait on someone else to do something about what he is doing in our lives.
If authority is not exercised it won’t work.
Don’t let the enemy push you around any longer! Jesus’ death and resurrection have forever changed the balance of power and given you the right to reign in life with Him. The Bible is very clear that we, as believers, are to be proactive and exercise our authority.
It would be wrong for a state trooper, while sitting on the roadside in his or her patrol car, fully equipped with lights, siren, radar gun, emblem, and badge to complain about the number of cars on the highway that are speeding and then wonder why the governor doesn’t do something about it! The governor has done something about it, he authorized the officer to enforce the traffic laws on the streets and highways of the state. Governors don’t pull cars over on the highway, officers do. They are on the front lines, fully authorized and deputized by the state to enforce the law, and if they don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.
In God’s kingdom, we are on the front lines, we have been authorized and deputized to enforce God’s law or will in our lives.
I want to refer you to a few scriptures that illustrate this truth. In Matthew 16:19 Jesus said, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Keys give you access; they open doors and they are a symbol of authority, but they don’t work by themselves. They must be used. They won’t work if they remain in your pocket or in your purse. Jesus is saying to us that when we begin to use the authority, He has given us, all of heaven will stand behind us.
We don’t have the right to eliminate evil from the earth. Jesus did not cast evil spirits into the bottomless pit while He was here, and neither can we. These spirits have a right to be here and, like it or not, as long as we are living on the earth in this dispensation, we will be surrounded by evil spirits whose sole purpose is to kill, steal, and destroy. But they have no power over the man or woman of God.
Colossians 1:13 says, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love….” In fact, Psalm 110:2 gives us a picture of life on earth for the believer: “The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.”
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies!” We can rule in their midst and Psalm 23 tells us how we can expect to live while ruling. Psalms 23:5 says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” When it comes to spiritual darkness, it has no power over our lives. We have a right to rule, feast, be anointed, and walk in abundance.
James 4:7 is another scripture that highlights personal responsibility when it comes to the use of authority:
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
When we are submitted to God and resist, the enemy must flee. James doesn’t say when we cry or plead or whine or complain; he says we must resist. This is an act of our will. It is good to come to the place where you say, “Enough is enough,” and begin to actively resist the works of darkness trying to rob you of your inheritance.
Another scripture passage that specifically uses the word “resist” in reference to the devil is 1 Peter 5:8-9: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
If law enforcement in any community fails to enforce the law, crime and criminals will fill the streets. This scripture tells us to be sober and be vigilant. We have a right to enforce the law in our own lives, and if we don’t the enemy can wreak havoc.
We must identify and then actively stand against the powers of darkness, and they must flee. The devil doesn’t come to your door carrying a pitchfork and wearing a red cap. If he did, we would easily recognize the threat and react. He comes disguised as anger, hatred, depression, sadness, loneliness, and fear due to circumstances and situations we face in everyday life.
People accept these things as legitimate because of the state of the economy or the political climate or experiences from their past. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t be free and full of joy and live a fruitful Christian life until society changes, the economy changes, or there is world peace. Rule in the midst of your enemies.
Your covenant with God has not changed. His plan for your life has not changed; your right to finish your course with joy still belongs to you. Certainly, because of the events over the last few years, the enemy has turned up the pressure against us as believers, but that just means it’s time to turn up the resistance!
1 John 5:18 says, “…but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” The wicked one has no right to touch you! In your mind, your body, your home, or your family. The only requirement is that you “keep” yourself. This means to guard yourself, identify the work of the enemy, and resist it in Jesus’ name.
If someone came to my door and asked for my permission to come in and rob my house, I would say “No!” I would resist. How much more should we do this when the enemy comes in the form of fear or worry about the future?
Some people have embraced fear as the new normal. Others have allowed anger, division, or hatred to control their thoughts. These are tools of the enemy to neutralize your effectiveness and ruin your life. Say “No! Get out!” There is nothing normal about what’s being called “the new normal.”
Refuse to give in to the works of darkness. They are easily defeated when you exercise your authority.
On the other hand, if you don’t stand up for your rights, no one else can do it for you. No one can give you a lasting victory without your full cooperation. Notice what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:27: “Nor give place to the devil.”
That is such a revealing statement that places the responsibility squarely on us. He is saying, “You must not give place to the devil.” So, if the Devil has a place, you gave it to him, and if you gave it to him, only you can take it away. If you don’t take away the place that you gave to the devil, no one else can do anything about it.
Suppose you had a rodent infestation in your house, and you called professionals to come rid your house of rodents. After applying repellents and traps and every trick in the book, they finally get every last rodent out. That would be a victory. But if the reason you had a rodent infestation in your house is that you always leave the back door open and refuse to close it, you will have the same problem again.
To illustrate how dangerous this is, Jesus gives us a graphic example in Matthew 12:43-45: “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
The message is that the enemy will never stop trying to get in, so we must never stop resisting.
Life would change overnight for many unhappy Christians if they would simply come to the place where they announce to the enemy, “Enough is enough! I will not allow you to operate in my life anymore!”
Close the door; slam the door and refuse to be bullied any longer. Resisting is active; it’s an attitude of faith built on the promises of God. We are not making up the laws as we go, any more than a police officer makes up the law.
We are simply enforcing laws that have already been made. You find these laws in the Bible. It’s by reading the New Covenant you learn who you are, what belongs to you, and what you can do in Christ.
When the benefits promised in Scripture are not manifested in your life, you have a right to demand them! Authority is exercised through your own words, by saying what God has said about you and refusing to settle for anything less.
In Luke 10:19 Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” You have authority as a Christian. Use it! When you do, all of heaven will back you up.
Matthew 18:18: “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
There is much more that can be said about the believer’s authority, but this is enough to get you started. Be bold, get your Bible out, and take back your life by declaring who you are, what you have, and what you can do according to God’s Word, and watch things begin to change for the better!
If you’d like more teaching on this important Bible topic, I have a 6-message audio series entitled, Who Died and Made You Boss. It is an in-depth teaching on the believer’s authority and it’s available for purchase on CD, USB, or MP3 download.
You can find this series and many others at GregFritz.org in the Audio Section of the product page. I have a complete outline of this teaching in Microsoft Word on the homepage of my website which is available free of charge. Look for the Study Notes button, then select “Exercising Authority” and get your free copy today.