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Intimacy Enemies

Intimacy Enemies

Your Intimacy is Opposed!

Why? Because it glorifies the intimacy between Christ and the Church and it is a life-giving act whether you have babies or not. That opposition also affects our relationships with God, others, and family. The Bible calls that enemy the devil and all his minions—demons, evil spirits, authorities, spiritual forces of darkness, powers, principalities, rulers, princes and strongmen. Lies from the enemy involve deception, so sometimes the lies can appear to have some truth to them. When we believe them, the enemy can influence us to live a life of illusion where we don’t believe God cares and that lie brings bondage. We’d like to remind you of how to use your authority “in Christ Jesus.” When it comes to the devil and spiritual warfare, there’s very good news:

  • The devil and all his demons have been defeated by Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth.
  • Every Christian has been given Jesus’ authority by the use of His name.

The Bible makes it very clear. Christians are free from the power of sin and death and, ultimately, free from the devil’s schemes. According to the Bible, this freedom was won for us through the death of Jesus Christ, and is ours when we are in Christ:

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory (Christians), to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies (Jesus) and those who are sanctified (believers) are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren . . . Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives . . . (Heb 2:10,11,14,15).

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Rom 8:1, 2).

God does more than give us freedom, however. He also gives us authority. All authority in heaven and earth (and everything in between) was given to Jesus. He then gave this authority to His disciples. In addition, the great commission gives this authority to all believers and to the church (a living organism of believers), empowering individual believers — and the church as a whole — to be Jesus’ representatives. Check out these verses:

“. . . and He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases” (Lk 9:1).

Cross references:

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18-21).

Why do we even need authority over demons?

It’s great that the Bible says we have freedom and authority. But why is this even necessary? How did sin, Satan, demons and spiritual warfare even come about? Everyone has a story, even Satan. In the beginning, Satan was created the most beautiful and powerful of all God’s Angels:

Thus says the Lord GOD, “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. (Ezekiel 28:12-14)

But here’s where his story goes awry. Satan begins to believe that he is equal to God.

But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’” (Is 14:13-14).

The Bible says that Satan was internally filled with violence, and his wisdom corrupted:

You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you” (Ezk 28:15-16a).

As a result, God casts Satan and the angels who followed him (one third of the entire host of angels) out of heaven and to earth:

“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!” (Is 14:12)

“. . . his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth” (Rev 12:4).

Now that he has fallen, Satan, a liar and the father of lies, is fully committed to deceiving mankind.

“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44).

After Satan showed up in the Garden of Eden and deceived Eve into believing she deserved to be equal to God in knowledge—and after Adam followed with his own sin of blatant disobedience— Satan became the god — or ruler — of this world. Every person who does not believe in Jesus is under Satan’s rule and is a slave to sin. These folks are, the Bible says, blinded, ensnared and held captive by Satan for the purpose of doing his will:

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:3, 4).

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” (2 Tim 2:24-26).

But wait! Here’s the good news: When Jesus was raised from the dead, all things came under subjection to him and—because Jesus is the head of the church—under subjection to the church, too. In other words, Christians are set free from being blinded, ensnared and have been given authority over Satan and his demonic minions:

“Which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:20-23).

The only power Satan has over a believer is to deceive and harass them with lies. If a Christian believes Satan’s lies (for example, letting anger and hatred take root and tarnish their attitudes and perspectives), this gives Satan an opportunity.

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. (Eph 4:26, 27)

If Satan can get you to believe a lie (for example, that you can never be free from bitterness, or that God is out to “get you,” or that you have no worth and are unloved), then he can get you to live your life as if what you believe is true even when it is not! Usually these lies, vows and even specific agreements are made during times of trauma or moments of great despair when the pain seems like more than we can handle. Often we believe lies and make agreements with the subconscious hope that we can save ourselves without having to turn to Jesus for help.

When we are deceived or when we give in to temptation and sin, this is called a “stronghold” and gives Satan the right or opportunity to influence, deceive and torment us even more.

Often these strongholds exist without us being fully aware of when or how they were created. We know we are hurting, and that there are areas of life in which we experience confusion, pain or failure, but we don’t realize we are suffering because we have given Satan the opportunity to torment us. The good news is that, in the end, these strongholds will be broken and the father of lies who uses them to torment us will be tormented himself:

“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev 20:10).

But in the meantime, God has equipped us to destroy these strongholds and experience freedom. How do we demolish these strongholds? Here’s what God tells us:

  • He has given us powerful spiritual weapons so we can demolish Satan’s strongholds, reject Satan’s lies, and bring our thoughts and beliefs in line with Christ:

    For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor 10:3-5).

  • Our greatest weapon against Satan’s lies and schemes is knowing the truth:

    So Jesus was saying to those Jew’s who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:31, 32)“so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Cor 2:11).

    Cross references:

    2 Corinthians 2:11 : Matt 4:10

    2 Corinthians 2:11 : Luke 22:31; 2 Cor 4:4; 1 Pet 5:8

    John 8:32 : John 1:14, 17

    John 8:32 : John 8:36; Rom 8:2; 2 Cor 3:17; Gal 5:1, 13; James 2:12; 1 Pet 2:16

  • Our relationship with Jesus Christ—being solid in our faith and submitting our lives to God—empowers us to resist Satan’s lies:

    Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world” (1 Pet 5:8, 9).

    “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas 4:6-8).

  • We can look to the Lord for strength, protection and victory:

    Cross references:

    John 8:32 : John 1:14, 17

    John 8:32 : John 8:36; Rom 8:2; 2 Cor 3:17; Gal 5:1, 13; James 2:12; 1 Pet 2:16

    “But the Lord is faithful and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thes 3:3).

    “. . . He who was born of God (Jesus) keeps him (Christians), and the evil one does not touch him.” (1 Jn 5:18).

    “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” (Col 2:15).

  • We have access to spiritual armor if we will make the choice to put it on! Notice how we are given the responsibility of “putting on” the full armor, “taking up” the armor, “taking up the shield” and more:

    Cross references:
    John 8:32 : John 1:14, 17

    John 8:32 : John 8:36; Rom 8:2; 2 Cor 3:17; Gal 5:1, 13; James 2:12; 1 Pet 2:16
    “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Eph 6:10-18).

  • As Christians, we have the authority to tell the devil and his demons to leave us alone when we are being harassed or demonized. In the name of Jesus, enemy strongholds can be broken, and we can experience truth instead of lies, light instead of darkness, freedom instead of bondage, grace instead of law, and the power of the Holy Spirit instead of demonic anguish. In the name of Jesus, every Christian is Christ’s representative extending the life of Christ and being transformed in the process. In the name of Jesus, as Christians we can bind the devil and his demons, and let loose in our lives the power of Christ and his Holy Spirit. This is the authority that every believer has.

    “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven” (Matt 18:18, 19).

    “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 WILL 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” (Phil 2:9-12).

    “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16).

    “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health” (Acts 4:10).

    “But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment” (Acts 16:18).

Remember, this is not a case of “good” versus “evil.” Satan is not God’s equal. In fact, he is not anything like God at all. For example, unlike God, Satan is not omnipresent (always present), not omnipotent (all powerful), and not omniscient (all knowing) and this is why we pray aloud when we tell evil spirits to leave! Bottom line, Satan is under Jesus’ feet, and in the name of Jesus he is under your feet as well.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph1:18-23).

Sample Prayer

Cross references: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I exercise my authority as a beloved child of God, and I command all demonic spirits to leave. Satan, I am a child of God and you have no rights, authority or power over me. You have been defeated by Jesus. I send you to the cross of Christ (or go wherever Jesus sends you) to be bound in the blood of Jesus Christ forever, never to return. Heavenly Father, loose upon me the light of Christ and the Holy Spirit of life to replace Satan’s lies, darkness and emptiness. Thank you, Father God for healing, restoring, redeeming and setting me free from the enemy’s strongholds. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen