The battle that is constantly waged in the spiritual realm is real. To further understand why it’s being waged, we must first look at it from a legal standpoint. Kingdom Authority was gloriously given to the first man, Adam. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'” (Gen 1:26)
Adam was given dominion (Kingdom Authority), but he foolishly and legally lost it. Satan came into the Garden of Eden in disguise and deceptively planted the seed of doubt and rebellion in Eve’s heart (Gen 3:1-7). Adam could have banished the serpent from the garden with the authority that he had over every beast of the field, but he failed to exercise it. When Adam and Eve chose to act in disbelief and rebellion, they became slaves to sin and Satan (2 Pet 2:19). The owner of a slave owns not only the slave but all that the slave possesses. Therefore, when Adam and Eve sinned and became Satan’s slaves, they yielded to him their most prized possession–the dominion God had bestowed upon them over his creation.
However, Satan didn’t get dominion over a paradise, but a creation that is now ruined–a kingdom with a curse (Gen 3:17-18). Not only is the kingdom corrupted, but the people are as well. Before Adam sold out to Satan, his spirit was alive with the presence of the Lord. He enjoyed uninterrupted, perfect and holy communion with God, walking with Him in the garden and spoke to God freely and without fear. But when they fell to Satan, they fell from the noble place of authority they enjoyed in God’s creation. They began to live in bondage, fear and servitude to a new master-Satan, the prince of this world, who rules in darkness.
God has His own standard of righteousness, holiness and justice. If the world’s dominion was legally lost, then it must be legally regained; if legally lost by one man, it must be regained by a man. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Jesus, fully man and fully God, came to regain what Adam lost (1 Cor 15:21-22).
Jesus, who never sinned, came to pay the ransom for our sins so that we can have a relationship with the Lord and live in His victory. Nothing less than His death and resurrection in the power of God could wipe away the consequences of sin. “So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Gal 4:3-5)
Jesus was tempted to sin with every temptation that had ever confronted humanity (Matt 4:1-11), but He did not sin. Jesus did not defeat Satan by pulling rank or using the powers He brought from heaven. He used two weapons that are sufficient for our victory in spiritual warfare: the Spirit of God (Rom 8:1-2) and the Word of God (Eph 6:17).
Paul prays (Eph 1:16-23) that our eyes be opened to the “surpassing greatness of [God’s] power” that raised Christ from death to life, and took Him to the heavens where He is now seated “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.” And that we would know this same power is given in Christ “toward us who believe”.
Jesus is enthroned on high, above all principalities and powers. We, in our identification with Him, are seated there with Him. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:4-6) Not only is Jesus on higher ground, but we are with Him on higher ground!
Not only are we on higher ground in Christ, but He has given us Kingdom Authority. “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) Just like Adam could have banished the serpent from the garden with the authority that he had over every beast of the field, we have power in the name of Jesus to make him flee, but we must first be in right standing and in submission to God.
That means we must let go of our pride (which brought the devil’s downfall) and humble ourselves before the Lord, knowing all that we are and have are because of His gift of grace. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
God’s Word doesn’t give us the authority to “rebuke” the devil, only to resist him. Zechariah 3:2 tells us that it is the Lord who rebukes Satan. Even Michael, one of the most powerful of the angels, did not dare to accuse Satan, but rather said, “The Lord rebuke you” (Jude 1:9). In response to Satan’s attacks, we should redouble our efforts to clothe ourselves in the spiritual armor, wield the Word of God, and rely on His power through prayer. We are to focus on standing firm in the Lord and the strength of His might, resisting the enemy with the full armor of God (Eph 6:10-18). It is only in His power and in the divine weapons He provides that we are able tread on serpents and scorpions.
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