As we discussed yesterday, there’s a cosmic battle raging and it’s a fight to death with no holds barred. “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.” (Eph 6:12)
We are at spiritual war! General Douglas MacArthur said, “In war there is no substitute for victory”. God’s will for His saints is not that we merely survive, but that we thrive in total victory, and He has equipped us and has given us His power and authority over the enemy. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” (Luke 10:19)
In order to win any battle, we must recognize our enemy. Our enemy was created as a holy angel, surpassing in beauty, superlative in wisdom, and when he spoke his voice cascaded like a crescendo of a great organ (Ez 28). Along with his privilege and beauty, he was given authority, but he was thrown out of heaven when he became prideful and rebelled against God (Is 14:14).
We must also recognize his tactics. In Mark 5:1-20, we read the story of a man Jesus delivered from a swarm of demons living within him. The story is a classic example of Satan’s ultimate design in his war against us–to completely inhabit, torment, and damn a human soul to hell. This man was crazed and tormented, full of rage, naked and covered with dirt, living among the tombs and alone. When we see what the power of Satan can do in a person’s life, then we can understand more of what is happening in the demonic realm of this age.
He had a preoccupation with death: “he had his dwelling among the tombs” (v 3). Halloween is a day where people flock to haunted houses, cemeteries and dress as the grim reaper, all in “fun”. Movies and TV shows entertain many with death: zombies, vampires, werewolves for example.
Rebellion against authority (Legion couldn’t be tamed): “And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain; because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him.” (vv 3-4) Our jails overflow with those in society who rebel against authority.
Uncleanness and Nudity: The demons “unclean spirits” had stripped this man of any sense of dignity and decency. It doesn’t take long to see nudity and hear gutter language even on a public street, in a parade, or in a demonstration rebelling against authority.
Restlessness and Sadness: “Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones” (v 5). Many today are despondent, without hope. Some mutilate themselves. Meanwhile, many are seeking help from professionals and prescriptions, but never get to the root of their problem: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9)
Separation from Family and Friends: When Legion was delivered from the demons, he had no desire to go back with his family and friends, but Jesus told him to go home and share his story (v 19). Satan brings domestic violence, separation, arguments and strife into relationships. Jesus calls us to love and serve one another, which means living in community.
Hostility to the Lord Jesus Christ: The demons within him were hostile to Jesus (vv 7-9). Today it’s becoming more and prevalent to see unveiled hostility to Jesus. Crude jokes are made at those who honor Jesus, and we hear over and over again those asking “what good is your prayers?”.
These are some of the ways that our enemy wages war. We must understand that we can only fight him from Kingdom Authority (see Authority Over Corruption In The World), understanding that “the battle is not yours but God’s” (2 Chron 20:15). Jesus has already won the victory (Heb 2:14) and “disarmed the rulers and authorities [Satan and his demons], He made a public display of them” (Col 2:15).
We already have the victory through Jesus Christ, so we do not battle for victory but from victory. Be aware that the enemy will continue to come against you until you are no longer here on earth. If you are saved by grace, he knows he can’t have your soul, but he’s betting he can steal your testimony in order keep others from following you to salvation in Christ. Never lose sight of the truth: “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
Part of the Series: The Authority of Christ (links will be added when they are published, and more may be added to the list as God leads)
- Authority Over Corruption in the World
- Recognize Your Enemy
- Stand Firm in the Authority of Christ
- We Battle From Higher Ground
- Be Strong in the Lord and His Mighty Power
- Put On The Belt of Truth
- Put On The Breastplate of Righteousness
- Shod Your Feet With the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
- Take Up the Shield of Faith
- Take the Helmet of Salvation
- Take the Sword of the Spirit
- Pray At All Times in the Spirit
- Strength Comes From Surrendering
- Overcoming Past Failures