I went to church for years and never heard about the devil. It's not fun talking about him, and I don't ever want to put too much focus on him. But the truth is, we have an enemy. First Peter 5:8 says, "…That enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour." It's important for us to believe in the power and authority we have in Christ over our enemy so we can have the great life God wants us to have.
There are so many Christians who seem to be going through their daily life just hoping they can get through the day. They go from one problem or crisis to the next, and they lack a confident, bold faith in God that can keep them stable and full of His peace and joy in the difficult circumstances of life.
The good news is, God doesn't want us to live in the emergency room of life all the time. He wants us to get to the point where we know what to do to have a great life and take responsibility for ourselves, trusting we can do whatever we need to do through the strength we have in Christ (Philippians 4:13). This means we know who we are in Christ and how to walk in the authority we have as believers in Jesus.
The Truth About What You Have in Christ
John 10:10 tells us Jesus gave His life so we can "have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)" (AMP). When we accept Christ as our Savior, we receive the assurance of eternal life, but we also become joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17) and are entitled to have everything He is and everything He has: grace, peace, righteousness, joy and power and authority over the enemy.
Matthew 10:1 says, "Jesus summoned to Him His twelve disciples and gave them power and authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out, and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of weakness and infirmity" (AMP). This authority has been given to every believer. It's important to understand that the devil has power, but we have power and authority in Christ. And our enemy only has the authority that we give him. Many times we give him the ability to attack us through ignorance.
The devil hates anyone who is trying to do any good in the world, and his influence can be seen in the evil things people do. We live in a war zone: there are wars in the Earth and we also encounter spiritual warfare in our mind and emotions. For example, when I'm tempted to be selfish and complain, it's not God working in my life. James 1:13, 17 says, "…God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…" (NKJV).
We need to learn how to be proactive and resist the devil immediately. First Peter 5:9 says to "withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset – rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world" (AMP). Notice this verse says to resist him at his onset.
Don't wait to see how bad things will get or how much you can get away with before you get in trouble. Be firm in your faith at all times, and resist the enemy immediately when he comes against you. God has a plan for your life, and walking in the authority you have in Christ is an important part of experiencing His will for you.
The Greatest Weapon You Have
The Word of God is an offensive weapon in our warfare against the enemy. It contains life and has the power to renew our mind, heal our brokenness and change our lives! The Word contains God's wisdom and the direction we need for every problem we face. Everything we need is found in the Word; it's God's love letter to us, our instruction book for life and reveals all of God's promises to us as His children.
The power and authority in God's Word equips you to go after the devil – he hates the Word and must bow down to it. But we must approach the Word with the attitude, "With God's help, I'm going to do what it says." That's the key to operating in the authority we have in Christ.
I want to encourage you to make it a priority to spend time with God and study the Word. Go for quality, not quantity; meditate on Scripture so you really get it deep down in your heart. Make a predetermined decision to apply what you learn to your life. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you, and He will show you how to obey the Word in your daily life.
Remember that in Christ, you have everything you need to enjoy your life and have the abundant life He died for you to have. God has equipped you to stand up to whatever comes against you. Through the power and authority you have in Christ, you can remain stable, full of peace and joy, and advance God's kingdom in the Earth at all times. That's God's plan for you!