And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore….” Matthew 28:18-19
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21
In the last words Jesus uttered on earth before His ascension into Heaven, he gave us a commission. “All authority is given unto Me. Now — you go.” He gave us kingdom authority.
We know that by the power of the Cross Satan has been stripped of his power, shamed and subdued. But Satan is not going to roll over and play dead. We must come against him in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Often We Fight the Wrong Enemy
Ultimately, our battle is not with Washington, the White House or Hollywood. They may be tools the enemy uses, but they are not our target.
We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
Jesus knew who the real enemy is. We’re in spiritual warfare. We must learn to exercise our spiritual authority.
You may be thinking, “But if Satan has been stripped, shamed, and subdued…if it’s done, why do we need to?”
Although Satan’s defeat is absolute, it must be appropriated.
Think of it this way: Was Jesus’ death for sin absolute? Yes. He was “the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Is the whole world saved? No. Salvation is only good for those who appropriate it. If you don’t appropriate it, it won’t do you any good. “…he that believeth not is condemned already...” John 3:18). A man doesn’t go to hell because of his sins; those have been paid for. He goes to hell because he does not appropriate what has already been done.
It’s the same with Holy Spirit power. On the Day of Pentecost, God poured out the Holy Spirit. Is every Christian Spirit-filled? No. Though the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was absolute, it must be appropriated.
Just as forgiveness of sin and Holy Spirit power are absolute but must be appropriated, Satan’s defeat is absolute, but you must appropriate it. You must say, “I’m going to take my authority in the Lord Jesus. I appropriate it. I stand on it, and I come against Satan’s dark kingdom.”
Be Walking In Fellowship with the Lord
But don’t just sally forth against the devil if your heart is not clean and right with God. Even as a child of God, if you dare to come against Satan with the heart of a rebel, you’re going to be in serious trouble. When you come against the devil, it must be from a personal relationship with God.
The seven sons of Sceva learned that the hard way (Acts 19). Claiming they could cast out demons — but didn’t personally know the Lord — they came upon a demon-possessed man and commanded, “in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches, come out of him.” That man turned on them, stripped their clothes off, began to beat them, and they fled, wounded and naked. One demon-possessed man put seven men to flight. They were trying to take authority over the devil but didn’t know Jesus personally; they had secondhand religion. “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches” won’t do. It had better be in the name of Jesus that you know.
Understand Your Position with the Lord
What is your position? We’re seated with Jesus in the heavenlies.
19…the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, 20Which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus Ephesians 1:19-21; 2:5-6
You are enthroned with the Lord Jesus Christ. When He died, you died. When He rose, you rose. When He ascended, you ascended. When He is seated at the right hand of God, you are in Him, seated with Him. You have kingdom authority. Begin praying a different way. Rather than praying from earth to heaven, start praying from heaven to earth.God has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. Our enemy has been stripped, shamed, and subdued. Jesus said, “I give you authority over all the power of the enemy.” It is time we started using it.
I believe we are living in the lengthening shadows of the last day. I believe Jesus Christ is coming soon, and one of the earmarks is persecution of the saints. We see it on TV, newscasts, and editorial pages. Ridicule any other group and you’ll be in trouble, but the wrath of our culture is reserved for the Christian. The Bible-believing Christian is the whipping boy.
People are continually discussing what’s happening in this country, the Middle East, and every corner of the globe. What many may not realize is that we are already at war—an invisible, unseen war between light and darkness, good and evil. And Satan is our adversary.
Someone reading this article—it may be you—has failed the Lord, and you think perhaps God is finished with you.
Suppose you’re running a 100-yard dash. You’re in the starting blocks. The gun fires and you start out running. You’re 10 yards ahead of everybody else. You’re three feet from the goal! But you quit.
Even the strongest Christian can battle depression—but God has made specific provision for us.