I. AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER
The Bible, in Ephesians chapters one and two, teaches concerning those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior that while we were dead in our transgressions, God, in His mercy and all by His grace, has made us alive with Christ and raised us up with Him, seating us with Him in heavenly places. This is all about our spiritual position of authority as believers, and in the context of the preceding verses, pertains to our authority “over all rule and authority and power and dominion,…”, in Christ, as adopted children of God. Because of the completed work of Christ, we are in an even better position to claim the promise given to the “seventy” in Luke 10:17-19: “Behold, I have given you authority…over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.” This authority is given to “all who believe”, according to Matthew 28:18-20, and Ephesians 1:19.
2. PRINCIPLES OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE
While there are now many books published on the subject of spiritual warfare, and while many are getting results, we have seen the truth of Scripture in holding up the life of our Savior as our model for life and ministry, including spiritual warfare. 1John 2:5,6 states to Christians: “By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” We know that the Lord Jesus was at all times submitted to God, as He was “without sin”, and did only what He saw His Father doing. (John 5:19) We are called choose this same “submitted” life through an attitude of prayer, but when dealing with and addressing the “god of this world” in the Ephesians 6:12 struggle, prayer time is over – rather, when Jesus resisted the enemy words are used like “He said…He spoke…He resisted…He rebuked,” and it was never prayer. In James 4:7, 1Peter 5:9, and other passages, Christians are told to “resist” the devil as Jesus did, and we are told, “…he will flee from you.” We have witnessed in thousands of real-life cases how this pattern brings freedom where other steps and formulas have failed.
3. SPIRITUAL ACCESS POINTS OR “DOOR OPENERS”
We are instructed and warned in the Bible not to “give place” or “opportunity” to the devil (Ephesians 4:27), that we are not to become “sharers” in demons (1Corinthians 10:20), even that the “offender” is crouching at the door and it’s desire is for us (Genesis 4:7). What so many believers have not been told is what to do if we have given ground, room, or opportunity in an area of our life to the devil and his army. How do we get it back? We may not even have opened the door willingly, as it says even in the ten commandments regarding the worship of other ‘gods’, “I, the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me,” Deuteronomy 5:9. We have found that opportunities for enemy influence given by parents and grandparents are a most common source of bondage in the lives of Christians; But whether we gave ground willingly, ignorantly, or whether it came to us through the decision of someone in our family line, the same instruction applies to getting the ground back: “Submit, therefore, to God, and resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
4. RECLAIMING GROUND (BINDING, LOOSING, SUBMIT RESIST WARFARE)
In the early years of our ministry, we did not practice what Jesus instructed in Matthew 12:29, “Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” We sometimes saw the kind of wrestling matches that Hollywood makes movies about, and though God still won the battle, we noticed that Jesus’ ministry was not characterized by this pattern. Victory was with a word – it was no contest; and we began to see that we needed to bind the “strong man” before we came against “strong-holds”. (2Corinthians 10:4) Again we see Jesus asserting authority verbally against the enemy, and when we began walking in this pattern in ministry we saw the victories become much more decisive. We are not in this ministry to see the devil show off – but to see him defeated. So we use a simple pattern of submitting to God, verbally binding the enemy, and resisting him in every area of influence; setting captives free to worship and serve the Lord God.
5. MARKS OF FREEDOM
Finally, we have identified certain evidences or “marks of freedom” in those Christians who have learned to walk in the freedom that is our birthright:
- A. CLEAR VISION to test, identify and avoid enemy strategies, and to be “led by the Spirit”- Romans 8:14;
- B. NO FEAR in resisting the devil, being confident of our position of authority- Ephesians 2:6;
- C. SOUND MIND as described in Luke 8:35 and 2Timothy 1:7, governed by the “peace” of God;
- D. FREEDOM OF THE WILL to choose the will and direction of God on one’s life – Galatians 5:1
- E. PURITY IN CHARACTER as the schemes of the enemy in the believer’s life are resisted and his influence broken – Psalm 125:3
- F. DESIRE TO KNOW GOD and His people is strengthened, as the heart and desires of God are allowed to work more freely in the life of the believer – Philippians 3:10
- G. DESIRE FOR THE FREEDOM OF OTHERS as we experience the birthright of freedom that is for all believers – Isaiah 42:22
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
— Galatians 5:1