It is the churches responsibility to be equipped and ready to head Satan off and show him who is the victor.
Firstly, God will test us, and allow tests in our lives to see how we respond, how we react to them in order to take us from one level of spiritual authority to another level of authority in Him.
Psalm 24v 3Who may climb the mountain of the Lord and enter where he lives? Who may stand before the Lord? 4Only those with pure hands and hearts, who do not practice dishonesty and lying. 5They will receive God’s own goodness (Literally righteousness, right standing with God) as their blessing from him, planted in their lives by God himself, their Saviour. TLB
Why does God test us?
Is it just to reveal to us what is in our hearts?
These tests mould us into usable, pliable, thinking, listening and available to God, human beings.
About how we relate to other people, and the Lord, when we have been given power and influence.
One can have power to perform a task but not authority to do it.
If power suggests physical strength, authority suggests a moral right or privilege.
Romans 13v1 For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God NKJV
‘Power corrupts and absolute power, corrupts absolutely’.
There is a truth here, which is why we must be tested thoroughly before we will be trusted with real power, real authority.
Hebrews 13v 7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. NIV
Luke 10v19 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. 20“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” NKJV
Godly authority always comes with healthy submission.
Those who struggle to submit to a local leadership, will struggle to minister effectively for God.
Many who are called as true prophets of God have been seduced by the enemy.
Under the Old covenant a priest was not allowed to minister if he had scabs, (scabby skin TLB). Lev 21v20
A scab is an unhealed wound.
The same is true of us. Anyone ministering from a position of bitterness, hurt, rejection or another unhealed wound will taint and corrupt his or her own priestly ministry.
Plans and Schemes of the devil
1 Corin 2v11 so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes. NLT
(We are not ignorant of the devils schemes NIV)
1 Peter 5v 8 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. 9 Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. NLT
Understanding Satan’s schemes significantly increases our advantage in the battle.
We need not fear, but the Word says ‘we must not be ignorant’.
‘For He who is in us, is much greater than he who is in the world’. 1 John 4v4
2 Corn 11v11
3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts (mind) may be corrupted from a sincere (and pure) commitment to Christ. NAB
Schemes are carried out by evil spirits – demons.
An evil spirit can seek to be used to dominate, manipulate or control others.
When we try to use emotional pressure to manipulate another it is a basic form of witchcraft.
(In Gal 5v20, Paul named ‘Witchcraft’ as a work of the flesh)
Gal 5v 19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like.
Our basic defence is always to walk in Gods truth’s and Gods ways.
We have to remember that primarily we are called to devotion to Christ.
Everything that God gives us to do, He empowers us to do.
David refused to take authority or seek influence for himself, even though he’d been anointed to be the next king.
1 Peter 5v6 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time .NAB.
Satan hates it when we start again.
Anyone who understands true ministry and true spiritual authority will not want one bit of influence that God has not given them.
When he was commanded to wait for Samuel before offering the sacrifice, he succumbed to the pressure and offered it anyway.
11 and Samuel asked him, “What have you done?” Saul replied: “When I saw that the men were slipping away from me, since you had not come by the specified time, and with the Philistines assembling. NAB
When we fear the people leaving, more than God leaving, then we have departed from what God wants.
Proverbs 29 v25 The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe . NAB
God wants Obedience not Sacrifice
‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ 1Peter 5v5
Anyone who likes to control for their own purposes become irrationally desperate to drive out those they cannot control.
Psalm 139 23Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts….
The true responsibility of authority
He inquired of the Lord’.
The higher the position of authority the more responsibility.
Our Shield against Satan’s plans and schemes:
Flattery: Revelation 2v20 it says Jezebel calls herself a prophetess.
Our Shield against those who hurt us or abuse us in some way.
1. Bless those who curse you Matt 5v44
Our Shield against the New Agers or witchcraft, etc.
2. Trust in God
1 Corin 2v5 ‘Your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God’
NO DEMON on earth or in the heavens wants to get involved with Gods people who have knowledge.
3. Seek Rightly (Righteously)
The word of God says ‘earnestly desire’ gifts of Holy Spirit
Some say ‘we should not seek the gifts but the Giver’ and although this is a very noble thought, it is not in line with Scripture, which exhorts us to
‘pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts’, 1 Corin 14v1
4. Truth and Power
1 Corin 4v 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. NAB
2 Tim 1v7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. NLT
Colosians 1v5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. Of this you have already heard through the word of truth, the gospel NAB
2 Corin 6v 4But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God:..………by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7by the word of truth, by the power of God. NKJV
If we have knowledge of God and understand Jesus Christ as Lord, but do not learn what Gods power and His authority in us means,………….. then, we will always be open to Satan’s plans and schemes.
A final warning:
We do not need to study the darkness as much as we need to study the light.
He who is in us is MUCH greater than he who is in this world. 1 John 4v4
Nelsons New Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
For bible quotes; New American Bible, New King James version, King James version, The Living Bible, the New Living Translation & New International Version. Schofield’s Study Bible. ‘The Surpassing Greatness of His Power’ by Rick Joyner. ‘Becoming a Prayer Warrior’ by Beth Alves.