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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. Hebrews 2:14-15


The writer of Hebrews declared that Jesus, through his death, has rendered the devil powerless. The word that is translated powerless, means to make insignificant or ineffective. Too often, those who are involved in spiritual warfare give the devil too much credit and, in their minds, give him too much power. Paul wrote, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’ In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions of the earth?  He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things’” (Eph. 4:7-10).


Not only did Jesus render the devil powerless but he also descended into hell and either set those who had previously been held captive by the enemy free or brought enemy captives with him as trophies – figuratively or literally. Either understanding is possible. The probable picture Paul is painting is that of a Roman general coming home from war after securing a victory. Victorious generals were given a “triumph” by the Senate, which was essentially a tickertape parade through the streets of Rome. As he entered Rome, he would be riding in a chariot pulled by four horses. His chariot would be followed by prisoners that he had taken captive as a display of his power and his authority. After the prisoners, came all the spoils that had been taken from the enemy. Then the general’s soldiers and other dignitaries would come behind. After the parade, which sometimes took more than a day, the general would often throw a huge banquet, giving away gifts and providing food paid for by his part of the spoils of war.


This picture of Jesus confirms that by his sinless life, his willing death, and his resurrection he was completely victorious over the enemy. He rendered Satan ineffective and irrelevant for those who are in Christ. After the cross, the only power that Satan has over God’s people is the power we give him through sin, unbelief, fear, and agreement with his lies and deception. Ultimately, we are in the same condition Adam and Eve were in while living in the Garden. In the Garden, Satan could not assault them, kidnap then, take their lives, or even harass them until after they agreed with his lies and surrendered their authority to him.


Today, as believers, we also give him the authority to harass us and afflict us by coming into agreement with him. Apparently, Satan has the ongoing right to tempt us and cause others to persecute us because we are told to beware of his schemes and that persecution will come to the righteous. But, he does not have the legal right to constantly afflict us, take our lives, or harass us year after year unless something in our lives or the lives of those we are attached to has given him power. When those things are submitted to the blood of Christ and realigned with God’s truth, his authority is revoked again.


I like what Jonathan Welton says about this. “ I do believe demonic forces are at work in the world, but not in the way many think. Most true spiritual warfare takes place in the arena of truth versus lies. The devil is a liar, and he uses his craftiness to get us to lay aside our identity and authority. Our battle must be understood as a battle to maintain our identity, because the authority we have been given as believers is contained in our identity. Many Christians have reached a point emotionally where they feel as though they have been stripped of their armor. They have been beaten to a pulp. They have been chained and are being dragged behind the devil’s chariot as his spoils of war…The truth regarding our identity is that we have been put into Christ. ‘In him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28). We abide in Him and he in us (Jn.15:4). We have been seated with him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6)…If we understand that we abide in Him (which also means that we abide in his authority), then our spiritual warfare is very different: we are not fighting for victory, we are fighting from victory” (Jonahtan Welton, The School of the Seers, DestinyImage Publishing, p.155).


In our own lives, when Satan shows up, we need to remember who Christ is and who we are in Him. We need to take a personal inventory and inquire of the Spirit to see if anything or anyone is giving the devil a key to our front door. If we find something, then we should immediately deal with it through faith and the blood of Christ. Having done that, we should reassert our authority as those who speak for Christ and represent him on this planet. When we command the enemy, we should do so with full confidence that we have the authority to do so and that he must comply because he that is in us is greater than he that is in the world (1 Jn. 4:4). James tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from us. The first step to resistance is remembering who we are and what Jesus has accomplished for us. When we remember and stand in that truth by faith, the battle is essentially over and the devil will beat a hasty retreat.


We already have the victory over Satan because Christ already has the victory. We should have no fear of this enemy who has been rendered powerless, but rather he should fear us for we sit in judgment on him. If we want to be effective in spiritual warfare we must maintain that mindset. When we go onto the field to face the enemy we should walk on with the swagger of those who already know that the game and the victory is theirs. It is that swagger in Christ, the certainty of who we are, and the total confidence that victory is already ours that intimidates demons and causes the devil to flee.


If we walk onto the field fearing defeat, being unsure of our Captain, and thinking that the enemy looks bigger, stronger and faster than we thought, we will be ineffective. We will empower and embolden the enemy by forgetting who our Captain is and who we are in him and we will not win the lopsided victory that was ours.


David is our model for facing the enemy. When he stood before Goliath, his mind was not contemplating his own strength but the strength of God Almighty. Goliath had taunted him and had pointed out how hopeless David’s efforts would be because Goliath had vast superiority in physical strength and experience. But David looked beyond Goliath’s taunts and intimidation. In his mind, the battle was already won because God was with him and God cannot lose. With his faith that God was with him, he declared victory over Goliath and charged him with a few stones and a slingshot. The rest is history. It never entered David’s mind that Goliath could win because David was representing the God of Israel. How much more confidence should we have because God is not only with us but in us and our commander cannot and will not lose.


We will face the enemy this year but he is defeated and rendered powerless in our lives when we remember who we are and whose we are. Like David, we have the right to declare victory in the name of Jesus and to charge the enemy. As we do, he will flee. Be blessed immensely and victorious in every skirmish with the enemy in this year to come.



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