God has provided a glorious inheritance for every believer and that inheritance includes dominion over all the works of darkness, including sin, sickness, disease, poverty and spiritual death. He has given us authority over the devil.
“In my name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues, they will take up serpents and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them, they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 17:17-18).
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However, in order for us to take advantage of our authority in Jesus so we can successfully stand against the devil’s strategies in every circumstance, the eyes of our spiritual understanding need to be enlightened as we see Apostle Paul praying in Ephesians 1: 18-20 quoted below:
“Do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places”.
As believers, our inheritance in Christ is the wisdom of God, and it was hidden throughout previous ages until it was revealed through Jesus Christ. The moment we acknowledge this truth and walk in the reality of God’s inheritance for us as saints, we live triumphant lives and reign as kings in this life.
We see the riches of our inheritance revealed more fully in the book of Ephesians than in any other book of the Bible. In chapters 1 and 3 are Spirit-inspired prayers which apply to believers everywhere because they were given by the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ.
If you are a believer, you can pray these prayers for yourself by putting “I” and “my” where Paul says “you” and “your”. In these prayers, the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to believers “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus” (Ephesians 1:17). What is the wisdom and knowledge God wants to reveal to the believer about Jesus Christ?
The Holy Spirit wants the eyes of our understanding opened to understand Jesus’ complete victory over Satan in the triumph of the cross. He wants us to understand what Jesus’ sitting on High really means to the believer. The wisdom and knowledge the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us is the believer’s joint sitting with Christ as a benefit of our redemption.
Joint sitting with Christ is a position of authority and triumph over Satan. God wants us to see what we have as rights and privileges by being in Christ. Most believers are living in ignorance, hence they get taken advantage of by some of the dubious ministers of the gospel as we see in the body of Christ globally today.
It is very important to pray these prayers including Ephesians 3: 14-21, over and over until it becomes real in your life. The Holy Spirit through Apostle Paul, want you as a believer to pray for the eyes of your understanding to be “enlightened”. The word “enlightened” means illuminated or flooded with light.
Ephesians 1 is talking about insight into the knowledge of Jesus and understanding of the knowledge of His Word.
Believers have been ignorant of Satan’s devices, so he has been able to take advantage of them. But the Spirit of God wants believers to get the wisdom and revelation of Jesus and His Word so the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened to know their authority in Christ. Most believers are scared of the devil. They spend most of their time focusing on this defeated foe.
God wants believers to know they are no longer subject to Satan because they have been delivered from his dominion and authority (Colossians 1:13). God wants the Body of Christ to know that we aren’t a defeated church. We are victors not victims. Glory be to God.
We are to reign in life through Jesus Christ because we have a position of authority over the devil. When the eyes of our understanding are enlightened, we can stand in our place of authority as the victorious people upon this earth.
When Jesus began His public ministry, He came into contact immediately with demonic forces and evil spirits. Demons and evil spirits had wrought evil unhindered down through the ages. Satan and his hosts had reigned as kings in the spirit realm and held men in the bondage of spiritual death. No one had authority to dethrone Satan and his hosts or to rule over them or even to challenge their authority or kingship upon the believers.
For example, in the Old Testament, we don’t see people casting evil spirits out of anyone or taking authority over the devil because under the old covenant, no one had any authority over the devil or evil spirits. However, when Jesus came on the scene in His earth walk, it was different. Evil spirits and man instantly recognised Jesus authority as He walked upon this earth.
In Mark 1: 21-24 we hear “Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, saying “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who You are, the Holy One of God”.
Throughout the New Testament, we see that demons and evil spirits instantly recognised and knew Jesus. Here in Mark, the unclean spirit in this man not only knew who Jesus was, but he also recognised Jesus’ authority. Even the scribes, Pharisees and the people in the synagogue recognised Jesus’ authority. They marvelled and were astonished because Jesus taught with authority, not as the scribes taught. Both men and demons recognised Jesus’ authority and bowed before it. Demons feared Jesus because He proved Himself to be the master over the devil. Even in the first recorded encounter Jesus had with the devil, Jesus proved Himself to be triumphed over Satan.
The first recorded encounter Jesus had with the devil occurred after Jesus was baptised by John in the Jordan River.
Right after Jesus was baptised, the scripture says “Then Jesus was led up of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matthew 4:1). Many times people have the idea that the Holy Spirit only leads us into good easy places where the going is never hard. But that is not always true. As we grow and mature in Christ, we find out that sometimes it’s in the hard places where we grow the most in God.
Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. But thank God, even in His temptation, Jesus proved Himself to be the master over the devil. Jesus overcame Satan in this encounter with the Word of God.
Three times Jesus overcame Satan with the words, “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10; Luke 4:4, 8, 12). Jesus didn’t do “battle” with Satan, He simply stood His ground and overcame Satan with the Word alone. When Jesus was here on earth, from the day of His temptation when He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, until the day Jesus willingly surrendered Himself to the will of God on the cross, He defeated Satan in every encounter. Jesus’ complete and total victory over Satan is clearly shown throughout the Word of God (Hebrews 2:14) “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
It was necessary for God to become a man so He could destroy the devil. Satan has been destroyed. He still exists, but his power and authority has been destroyed. The only way he exerts any influence at all is because of the ignorance of the people. His only weapon is deception.
Every believer should therefore yearn to have their eyes opened to this reality so they know the power and authority they have through the finished work of Christ.
Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura