by Pastor Bob Rasmussen
There has been a lot of things going on in this body and in some folks that I know. I really feel this is a good time for us, especially me, to remember that one of the things we have in our relationship with Jesus, is authority, authority over the enemy.
Authority over these attacks that seem to be all around us, and I think now is a perfect time to push back against those things that are going on.
In our relationship with Jesus, I am so grateful for His forgiveness. I am so grateful that He has gone to prepare a place not just for me, but for anyone that chooses to accept Him as his Lord and Savior, be baptized, and filled with the Holy Ghost
We have so much that we get from God besides his forgiveness, we have His promises, we have His Word, we have relationship. But we also have authority. And there is a responsibility to use that authority.
- 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Man, o man, am I grateful that I I finally accepted Jesus in my life. That is the team I want to play for. I don’t want to play for that other team! But we were all once on the other team until we came into salvation, amen?
Devil is a pretty loose term that is around in society today. The way that people think about it at times is kind of shocking. It seems the world tries to minimize that there is an actual enemy out there, and that enemy wants nothing more than for them to stay right where they are at
- Ephesians 2:2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Again, thank You Lord for making a way.The bible says that the enemy is a” prince of the power of the air”
- Ephesians 2:2 You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God].
Not everything that goes on around us isn’t just natural. It’s not the obvious order of things, but there is a spiritual realm where things are happening. Pastor Jeff spoke on some of this last week. And there is an opposition that is occurring.
- There is an enemy that is trying to interrupt the purposes of God
- There is an enemy trying to distract from the purposes of God
- There is an enemy that is trying to intimidate the people of God
Why does He want to intimidate the body of Christ? He wants the body of Christ to not fully realize who they are. He wants to block the light of Christ Jesus by hindering those who believe and can bring that light to others
- 2 Corinthians 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
But thank God that is not us, amen? We can praise Him that we have a new life, we are a new creation, where the enemy cannot push us around and does not have authority over us.
We have crossed from darkness into the glorious light of Jesus Christ. We are protected, we have authority. We got out of the enemy’s world, out of his ways, into a new Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, and into His ways. Hallelujah! So what is this authority?
- Mark 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
I love the way that Jesus handled this, and it is a good reminder for me. I do not have to have a long conversation, or a long debate, I can just exercise my authority like Jesus and just say, “Shut up and get out!” I have had to actually do this, at work one day, I was on a ladder, and I actually said that out loud!
- Mark 1:26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
Jesus silenced the unclean spirit, it HAD to do what He told it to do. Be quiet and get out! The was a clear demonstration of the authority of Jesus and the new way things were going to be. Those that were under attack from the enemy really had no hope, there was no answer, not until Jesus came on the scene. It was new and it was exciting. Not so much for the enemy though.
- Mark 3:9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. 10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. 11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
The enemy knows who Jesus is. They recognize His authority. They must fall before him.
- Colossians 2: 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]. 10 And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power]
It is important for me to remember these scriptures. Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. ALL Authority. No matter how dark this world seems to get, and this prince of the power of the air looks to be so tough and strong trying to intimidate the body of Christ, there is no God that is greater, there is no spirit greater, and certainly no demon that is greater than Jesus! All authority is in Jesus, the devil is a liar.
The enemy will try to get you to agree that He has more authority than he does, that’s all he has. He can only roar. And the world is going to do the same. The media, movies, social media, did I say the media? They are all trying to make those of us who believe, to be crazy. They will find fault with what we do, they will find fault with what we believe compared to the norms of society and the world. They will intimidate us not to stand up for Gods church and His body. They will try to be like they have more authority.
But friends, we have the authority through Jesus Christ. We are the salt; we are the light. We are the temple of God and the body of Christ. And what they do not understand is that we knew this would be a bumpy ride. In His Word he told us these days would come and we would have to resist. Resist the morality of the world, resist the morality of the politics we are seeing
- Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
And that is why I wanted to talk about resisting today. There is a demonic realm and there is spiritual warfare. Not everything that is happening is “normal”. And I need to be aware of this because if I don’t, I will try to battle whatever it is in the flesh. I will forget how to truly battle what is against me and I’ll forget about the authority that is in me through Jesus Christ.
There are distractions that will come, there are strategies that the enemy is putting in place to try to trip us up. And if I try to plan, and that’s not a bad thing, but sometimes it is spiritual battle. Maybe there is some prayer, some fasting that we need to do. Maybe we need to get some brothers and sisters to pray with us and stand in agreement and speak some authority in that situation.
I have had a couple people in my life say well all that authority was Jesus, and it is no longer around. Listen, I believe the Word of God, not what you or I feel.
- Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
When we have given our life to Christ, we are one with Him. When the enemy sees me, he sees the blood of Christ. When he sees me, he sees the body of Christ. It’s not about me and what I can do, it’s about and what He did and continues to do. And in the bible, there is something that Jesus has done – He has delegated authority to His believers. In Luke we see Jesus send 70 individuals out, two and two.
- Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 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. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Hallelujah and amen. He gave authority to the 70. But that same person that says, well, that authority is just in Jesus and maybe those 70 were special somehow. I never cease to be amazed at how some folks want to talk themselves out of what God paid so a high price for.
There was nothing special about those 70 human beings that were sent. We do not even know their names, but we do know the name that allowed them to go out – and that name is Jesus. They were not in worldly terms, superheroes, they were people who had a job to do. And Jesus delegated his authority on them to do the job that He called them to do, not by their own might, but in His holy name. They had authority for the Kingdom of God. In the book of Mark, we see Jesus appear to the 11 after conquering the grave and has this to say:
- Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 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.
That’s the authority of a believer, amen. The authority of the believer does not come from the believer, it comes from Jesus, who is IN the believer.
And I said there has been things going on in some of our lives where the enemy has been messing things up, in our relationships, in our businesses, in our bodies, our marriages, and our families. I just want to discern that if that is the case, I am reminding myself that I can put my foot on the devil’s head and crush it, resist, and say, “Stop! I can say enough! Get your hands off my kids! Get your hands off my business. Get your hands off my body or a loved one’s body. In the mighty name of Jesus, flee!”
I love to solve problems, I love fixing things, it is a lot of what I do in my job. It is part of who I am. But not every situation can be solved with logic. Not every situation can be solved with experience, or technology, or education. Sometimes the situation is there because there is an adversary working against me.
There is an adversary, and he is a defeated enemy, but there will still be struggles. And the reminder for me is that just like the 70, it is Christ who is living in me, that gives me the authority over that enemy, but I must use it. Like the 70 I must exercise my authority. I must understand that the situation may require me to get out of my comfort zone of what I can see, what I can feel, and what I can touch and step into a spiritual battle.
Here is another inconvenient truth. Yes, we fight a defeated enemy, but he is not gone yet. You know how some people are poor losers, how much more do you think the devil is a poor loser? Because we believe the Word, because we know the Word, because we praise God for who He is, because we are not conformed to the world, because we try to live out our lives based on the Word – that’s the kind of people the enemy hates.
There are plenty of churches who have watered down the Word, there are churches who have changed the focus of their worship to the stage and lights to fill seats, there are churches who have conformed to the world contradicting the very Word of God – I don’t think the enemy is concerned with them as much. It is the people of God who have and want to have a relationship with Jesus he hates.
Look, recently we had a situation with someone we love deeply. This person had a lot of life things going on and it seemed that everyday there was another burden put on them. Well, we got a phone call very early in the morning, and another thing had happened. It was causing, obviously, a lot of stress. What I thought this person needed was a physical thing to happen, and that is what I prayed. Nothing happened, other than the enemy causing even more stress, creating confusion and fear for this person.
I prayed again, and what was revealed to me in the spirit was I was praying for the wrong thing. It was not a simple chain of events, it was the enemy absolutely attacking this person, and the last thing that happened might push them too far, and THAT was what the enemy wanted. I needed to pray with authority to tell the enemy, “No, your plan will not take place, get your stinking hands off of this person, and in the Name of Jesus, just stop!” The physical thing happened the very next morning, which still was good. But the greatest thing that happened is that the authority of Jesus brought the situation under control. Praise the Lord!
That is a good reminder that when we are firm in our identity with Jesus, when we remember the authority that is in us, when we walk into a room or a situation, there is a presence of God that we bring with. There is that authority and the sphere of influence that we bring with us. We don’t have to walk into those situations with our held low or intimidated. We are the salt, we are the light, we are the body of Christ. We are the children of God. All power and authority, all of it has been given to Jesus, and in that moment in whatever situation it is, we represent the body of Christ.
- 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
I can use His name. There is power to resist the enemy. Yes, we have the authority to cast him out, but we also have the authority to resist.
- Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Notice it does not say, be strong in yourself. It says to be strong in the Lord! This is not our human strength, it is not our effort, it is not our will, it is strength in Him, in Jesus. Receive His strength, say yes to his might and power. You may not feel strong like the incredible hulk, it’s not that kind of power.
- 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
To stand, to resist, to stop against the wiles of the devil. Sometimes it is our responsibility to resist and stand against the something that the enemy is doing and to stop it. It may be the enemy’s strategy against our schools. It might be the enemy’s strategy against our family. The devil may have strategized against your physical health, your personal finances, or your marriage. But in the strength of the Lord, we have the ability to stand against those strategies and plans that are against us.
- 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
That is what I have to remember. There is an unseen world, it is not something that is just made up, it is in the Word of God. It goes all the way back to the beginning in Genesis. The reality is that there is an unseen world, and we have an adversary and like it or not, there are plans and strategies I may not see. That is why we must resist. And that is one reason we pray.
I want to be a person of prayer, amen. Pray over our kids, our soon to be 5 grandchildren, for our family, for our jobs and businesses, for whatever God has us doing, for this body of believers.
- James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you
- James 4:7 So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you
Submitting to God means submitting to be holy. Not going out in the world and doing whatever you want, but rather, living out the character of God in our lives. We cannot resist the devil with one foot and then open the door with the other. How we live our life matters and I do not want to push the door closed with one hand and then open another door with the other to let the enemy in. It does not matter what it is, bitterness, unforgiveness, lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, I am opening that door whenever I am not submitted to God.
- 1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, 7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 8 Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him,
There it is again, RESIST him
- be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.]
We can say no and resist the enemy, because we are rooted in His Word, we can resist because we are established in our identity, and we can stand immovable because of our faith in Jesus!
We have the ability to resist the devil through Christ Jesus. He does not get to boss us around, he does not get to bully us, he does not get to kill, he does not get to destroy from us, he must flee, in the name of Jesus, praise the Lord.
- Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Anger is a foothold for the enemy. The enemy will use that anger to do all the things we are trying to stand against. And Paul is not talking to the lost people of the world, he is talking to the church of Ephesus. He is talking to you and me. He is saying that anger is not OK, that unforgiveness is not in the will of God. But since we can resist the devil, and we have the ability to put on that “new man”, the nature we have in Jesus, we can resist that temptation to be angry.Just like Jesus freed us from other things, he can free us from anger, and we can close the door on anger and resist the enemy.
Another scheme of the enemy is to try to get people to be unforgiving. Unforgiveness is another way the enemy will try to creep in. Once again, the apostle Paul is writing a letter to another church:
- 2 Corinthians 2: 10 If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive [that one]; and what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of [and with the approval of] Christ, 11 to keep Satan from taking advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
Paul knows of Satan’s design to destroy the unity of this church. Forgiveness is a weapon against Satan’s plan to see an unforgiving spirit spread like a disease through the body, the church. Lord, help us all forgive.
I have one final thought that I did want to share with you. Sometimes, the enemy will move quickly. It happens so very quickly. In a moment of a loss, in a moment of bad news, when you get that not-so-great health report – that is when the enemy will most definitely strike.
- He will whisper, “Well, you know you haven’t been as good as you could be.”
- He will whisper, “Remember when you were in that life of sin, remember that, yeah, you probably deserve this.”
- He will whisper, “Maybe Jesus doesn’t really care about you, if He did, He would not let this happen, would He?”
- In those moments when you are alone and dealing whatever the issue is, He might say, “See, nobody cares, nobody loves you, why do you even want to be with Jesus, he is failing you!”
Anybody been there? I have, but then I remember, We can say no and resist the enemy, because we are rooted in His Word, we can resist because we are established in our identity, and we can stand immovable because of our faith in Jesus
I can say to the enemy, “You know what, I haven’t been good as I could be, but I am trying, and Jesus knows that. And yes, I remember that life of sin, but because of the blood of Jesus, that sin debt is paid in full, it’s gone in the eyes of God. And I don’t know why this happened, and I may feel alone, but I believe His word, sometimes it might be all I have.”
- 1 Peter 5:7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].
And with that I can say, “In the name of Jesus, shut up and get out. Today I choose to stand on the Word and the love of Jesus, I choose to resist, I may be tired, but I will be strong in the Lord. Today I choose to resist the enemy, so “Flee, in Jesus’ name!”