"Power Over The Enemy" (May 201)
If you are on my e-mail devotional mailing list- Coffee Break- you will remember that around a week ago I shared a dream that I had had earlier that morning in the devotional. I felt impressed to share the dream in the newsletter this month, although I will bring out some additional things in the newsletter that I did not bring out in the devotional. Actually, it may be more of a “two in one” newsletter this month.
I am going to start off by sharing the dream with you. The dream was lengthy so I will tell you the summarized version of it and what it meant. The dream is about the church- not one particular church but those who make up the church. I saw missionaries, church leaders and the laity. In the dream there was a man who had devised a way to control people. I went to the place where he was with the intention of setting free someone I knew that was under his control. When I got there I began to confront him. As I did, a whole group of people came into the place where we were. These people were under his control too. Yet they seemed so carefree, they were talking to each other, and acting like they were just going about their routine day. (You would have never thought that they were in any sort of bondage at all.) They were there to get more material "blessings". What I thought was just one person under his influence was now a room full. I began to warn them who he was, hoping that they would realize it and come out from under his power. The more I tried to warn them, the more the man gloated in his power over them. I knew they were "bewitched". So I began to bind, loose and rebuke in the Name of Jesus (according to the Word of God in Matthew 16:19) the power he had over their lives and had them to do the same. These people left, no longer under his influence but with eyes wide open. But as soon as they left another group came in, then more and more and more and more. I was so deeply concerned that they did not know that this was not a good place. I got overwhelmed from trying to help them get free that at one point I caught myself passing out refreshments to those who were there while we were waiting- for what I am not sure, but for something to happen. I finally came to myself and went to the man- he was there the whole time- and told him he would not prevail, he was defeated. I knew there was power in the Name of Jesus- it had set the first group free. In order to reach all the people that were there and see them delivered I started singing as loudly as I could-- “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know”. They began to sing with me and got free of this man's power. Each time I would speak the Name of Jesus, this man and his influence was weakened more and more. The dream ended with the original person I had gone to try to help see set free getting free.
The concerning part of the dream is that these people (Christian people) were in the presence of evil and did not even know it. They were being influenced by evil forces and weren't even aware or discerning. They were going about enjoying life unconcerned about where they were and what was going on around them. They were only interested in the material things that they could have. It isn’t only concerning but it is scary too that these people- myself included, after a while- got comfortable with where we were. Being unaware and comfortable in the presence of evil- is called deception. Jesus warned us that deception and deceivers would come- especially in the days prior to His return. “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:3-5,11)
So how do Christian people who should be walking in the light and truth become deceived like these were? Remember at the beginning of the dream I told you that I was going to the place where this man was because he had control over someone I knew? Well, let me share more. The dream actually started with me walking toward a building where this man was at. On the way there I passed my friend who was under his control. This person did not speak to me or even look at me, but they kept on walking. This person happens to be a fellow-laborer in the ministry. As I looked pass them toward the building, I saw a gray car sitting in front of it- right at the door. I know from studying dream symbolism that a car represents “ministry”. The color gray meant “compromise”. Right away I knew that the car belonged to my friend and that they were walking away from it putting distance between it and them. I knew that they had compromised the ministry God had called them to do. When we start compromising, especially in the area of what God has called us to do, we open the door for the enemy to come in and deceive us. Compromise in the ministry means that we have strayed away from the Truth- God’s Word. When we stray away from His Word, we open ourselves up to every thing that is contrary to God’s Word. We open ourselves up to the enemy’s lies. The longer we do this, the further away we get from the Lord, and the call on our life- like my friend did in the dream. The further we get away from the Lord, the more control we allow the enemy to have in our lives.
Another way Christians become deceived is by getting our eyes off of the Lord and unto material things. These people were in the presence of evil and all they had on their minds were material things. Christians, when in the presence of evil, should be taking authority over the evil and not allowing it to gain a hold in their lives. Their affections and desires were set on earthly things not spiritual or heavenly things. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) They were more concerned with having earthly treasures and riches than with eternal riches that can’t be taken from them. “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:20,21) They were more concerned about the “gifts” and “blessings” than the One who gives us all good things and loads us with blessings and benefits. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) When you seek the gift more than the Giver, when the creation becomes more important to you than the Creator, when seeking God’s hand is desired above seeking His face, you are under the controlling influence of something else- materialism, lust and covetousness. You are straying away from the Lord into idolatry. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16:13)
It is alarming when Christians feel comfortable in the presence of evil. We shouldn’t because what fellowship has light with darkness. “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14b) The two cannot coexist together. Not only is it alarming, but it is dangerous to stay in deception for too long. Pretty soon you get “comfortable” in it and it becomes the “norm”. In my dream I told you that at one point I started passing out refreshments to some of those who were standing near me. In the dream there was an ice chest with soft drinks sitting on top of it- these were what I was asking people if they wanted, then I noticed that some of the bottles had been opened and were sitting there half full. This represented to me that the people who had been drinking them had been there for a while- long enough to have already drank most of them- and that they had not finished them yet, so they were planning on coming back later to finish drinking them. Again, deception and compromise can lead to being comfortable in the wrong places, which can lead to destruction.
Another thing I want to talk about from the dream, which may seem like it is off the subject, deals with the Name and Blood of Jesus. I believe the evil man in the dream represents the devil. He is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy and put people in bondage. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10a) His desire is to control you and make you his slave. He does this through many avenues- some we have talked about already. In the dream, this man- the devil- was not “all powerful”. He did not have the power to “posses” these people, the only power he had was to influence them. He influences us through his lies, manipulations and enticements in order to try to control us. And the only way he can have any power over us is if we let him. The one with the power is Jesus! Jesus has the power to set people free from deception, just as He did in the dream through the use of His Name and calling upon His Blood. There is power in the Name of Jesus and it breaks the hold of the enemy- his influence, his strongholds, his deception. Each time I spoke the Name of Jesus or called upon the power of His Blood, the devil got weaker and weaker until finally he lost his hold on these people.
I want to talk about the power in the Name and Blood of Jesus. I believe that one of the reasons we fall prey to the enemy and come under his influence is because we don’t really recognize who Jesus is or the power that He possesses. He is Omnipotent God- the “All Powerful One”. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18)
He is the Powerful Creator- Jesus was there at the beginning of creation bringing all things into being. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3) “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16,17) “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26,27)
There is power in Jesus’ Blood. The first time we were introduced to the power that is in His blood was in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned by disobeying God. At the moment sin entered into the world, Adam and Eve became aware that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together to try to cover up their nakedness. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3:7) Our own efforts cannot cover, much less do away with, our sin. It takes a blood sacrifice to remove the stain of sin from our lives. God killed an animal- shed its blood- and covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness. This was symbolic of the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, that would be shed at Calvary for the remission of our sins. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21) Only the Blood of Jesus has to power to wash away our sins.
We see the blood later when God sent the plagues upon Egypt. The last plague was death to the first born. In order for the Israelites to be spared from death that evening, they had to apply the blood of a spotless lamb to the door post of their houses. When death saw the blood, it had to “pass over” that house. “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:7,12,13) Only the Blood of Jesus has power over death.
The Blood of Jesus has the power to bring us near to God and put us in right relationship with Him. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
The Blood of Jesus established the New Covenant between God and man. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16) “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24,25)
Through the Blood of Jesus we have victory and power to stand in times of temptation and trials. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)
Let’s talk about the Name of Jesus. There is power in His Name, and His alone. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
The authority to cast out devils, heal the sick, and do mighty works and miracles comes through the Name of Jesus. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17,18)
The Name of Jesus is the power behind answered prayer. “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” (John 16:23)
There is one final thing I want to share with you about the dream. When I was going to set my friend free, there was no fear, no confusion, no struggling back and forth, no reservations, no seeking God’s will or fasting and praying for days. As I went it felt natural. It felt like I was walking to just an ordinary meeting. There was so much peace and hardly any thought as to what I was doing. I knew my friend needed “deliverance” and I knew I had the authority through Christ to do it-- so I was heading to do it. The power that we have been talking about that Jesus has, has been delegated to us. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19) Jesus has the keys that represent His authority and He has given them to us in order to manifest His power in the lives of those who are still held captive in sin here on earth. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18) “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)
In the dream the devil was defeated by Jesus- just the mention of His name and Blood. That may have happened in my dream, but the fact that Jesus really did defeat the devil when He went to the cross was not a dream... it is the truth. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8b) “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:14,15) Jesus defeated him once and for all, and He defeated him on our behalf. Because of Jesus we can have victory over the schemes, devices, lies and deception of the devil. Through Jesus’ shed blood we now have power over sin. Through His power we can stand firm in adversity and temptation. We don’t have to fall prey to his plans. We can be discerning and aware of the evil around us. Because of His power we are no longer held in bondage and under the devil’s controlling influence. We have been given power over him and his works because Jesus has all-power. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14) “O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” (Psalm 98:1) And the victory that Jesus got makes us more than a conqueror through Him. “Nay, in all these things we are
more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37) Remember that you have been given power to set the captives free and open prison doors to those who are bound. You have the power to live and non compromised life. You have power to resist the urge to give up or get comfortable in this world, neglecting the one to come. You have the power to persevere and keep going forward. You have power over the powers of the devil. And it is all because Jesus’ Spirit of power resides in you. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11)