POWER TO OVERCOME

Jesus Christ demonstrated His power by casting out demons. In the gospels we read that some were healed of physical diseases and others were healed of what presented as a physical illness but was actually of demonic origin.
It is a curious fact that Jesus allows Satan certain licence. When we feel attacked or persecuted it is then that we most often turn unreservedly to our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who overpowers the "strong man."
 
But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house (Matthew 12: 28, 29). In the same way we overcome by praying in the power of God's Spirit, allowing Him to work through our prayers and actions.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1st John 4: 4).

In defeating the ungodly God pours out His punishment, allowing the satanic realm certain uses. God sent a lying spirit, speaking through the mouth of a false prophet, which led to the death of King Ahab. Ahab had a choice. He could have listened to God's genuine prophet, but after a prolonged period of training his mind and body to resist what was right, Ahab chose the lie. This lack of spiritual discernment led directly to his death. (1st Kings 22: 20-38).

God also used demons when he poured out his punishment on Egypt. He sent upon them His burning anger, fury and indignation and trouble, a band of destroying angels (Psalm 78: 49). This deputation of fallen angels could have been restrained by an all powerful, sovereign God. But judgement and not rescue were the consequences that sin would reap. God uses the chosen path of evil against those who continually resist His love and grace.

When God decides to act there can be no loyalty or defense for those that choose and persist on an evil path. The name of Jesus Christ is powerful, indeed.  The following verse is worth memorizing.
 
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2: 9-11).

Some of Jesus' new followers discovered the power of this Name, which is above every name when they returned home after a missionary trip.
 
The seventy returned with joy saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." And he said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightening. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven" (Luke 10: 17-20).

In the New Testament Paul writes these words concerning a man that is determined to persist in blatant sin. This man is so blind about his own condition that he flaunts his sin before the assembly and seems to have intimidated any that consider calling him to account.
 
Paul writes: I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1st Corinthians 5: 5). We also read that God allowed Satan to "sift Peter;" to test him. This happened when Peter denied Jesus three times, after which Peter, the rock, repented and ...went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22: 62).

As world forces gather for the last great battle, the battle of Armageddon, God allows powerful demons to influence men, ushering them onto a path of destruction where great slaughter and utter defeat await. Some of these demons remain in the unseen realm to sway and influence. Others actually have possessed and indwell humans as an alien host; a manifestation of evil.
 
And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty (Rev. 16: 13, 14).

Demons promote Satan's agenda. They work to extend Satan's power, promoting those philosophies and social programs that result in death; some appearing at first to be benign, even innocuous. Demons foster false religions and cults. Satan is the father of lies; slander being a common tool of our enemy.
 
Demons are the enemy of mankind. They oppose the faithful by engaging in spiritual warfare. Demonic entities are the power behind evil persons. They do all they can do degrade man's nature, perverting the best that God provides as His gift. Today there are powerful drugs, synthesized and readily available and many of our beloved have been transformed into strangers, are lost and have died far sooner than they would have because they gave in to what might have begun as a brief dalliance, but soon became a life consuming addiction. With defenses weakened by chemical substances many addicts will testify of the reality of the unseen world and the powerful, demonic forces that have assailed them.

Standing in the love of God's grace, believers possess powerful tools to withstand and overcome. This message of grace and love is one we proclaim with confidence. We are well aware of how Jesus has transformed and redeemed our souls. Jesus offers this release from bondage to all. He commissioned his followers, modeling for us a ministry of healing and deliverance, and giving us authority over demons.

Miracles, angels, spiritual warfare, and the need for healing and deliverance is too little taught, practiced, and offered as a ministry to hurting persons. Too many have watered down and sanitized for consumption and thus have marginalized the power of God's grace to work miracles through believer's.

Many today are being drawn to the visionary gifts.  This is because they are especially needed.  If churches do not teach and equip in this area people will seek answers outside the word of God... or they will be drawn to God's word as they embrace a calling; challenging the changes that need to take place in a declining culture.   

And it shall be in the last days, God says, that I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on My bond slaves both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit (Acts 2: 17, 18). Read the entire passage in Acts and read Joel 2: 28.
 
Prayer is the path to all healing and God tells us not to give up in prayer.  Physical healing is sometimes immediate and instantaneous or may be accomplished via a process as we seek medical treatment.  People often point to Paul's thorn in the flesh as evidence that they should accept the burden of illness giving up the idea of praying to God for healing.  Study of God's word does not support Paul having a physical illness.  The phrase is commonly used in the old testament referring to pagan populations standing in the path of God's work to evangelize the lost.  Saint Paul regularly encountered opposition to his ministry.  He was many times beaten and also brutally with lashes.  Once that we know of he was even stoned and left for dead.  Saint Paul would have regularly needed and received the powerful healing that the Holy Spirit regularly moved through him to accomplish for others.  And isn't it wonderful that our loving God created our bodies to heal. 

Some emotional healing from past wounds may be a process that takes a life time of conscious commitment. Additionally all persons have character weaknesses or some behavorial addictions to deal with.  We can and should pray for healing and deliverance in all such life challenges.  We stay cognizant of our weaknesses, we monitor our actions, we engage in prayerful repentance as a matter of daily interaction with our living Savior, Jesus Christ. 

There is an eternal reward and an ultimate healing to be found in heaven.  We can't know it all today, but God does give us all we need and in great abundance if we will seek Him.   For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known (1st Corinthians 13: 12)> 

All believers can oppose Satan. As prayer warriors, salt and light, we lift up petitions, praises, and dire circumstances before God's throne of grace. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in my name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover (Mark 16: 17, 18).




Read my book: Wood's End

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