I have a good friend who is going through a trial. As she shared some of the detail with me, I asked how she was handling the obvious thoughts of fear. She said, “Well, I’m quoting a lot of scripture.”
“That’s good,” I said, “But it won’t run the dog off.”
This is where a lot of people don’t understand the authority of the believer. Jesus said in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you THE AUTHORITY to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
When it comes to dealing with the devil and his devices, you’re going to have to do more than quote scripture. [click to tweet]
I told my friend, “Quoting scripture builds your faith–and that is good! But quoting scripture is not the same as using your authority against the enemy when he attacks.”
My friend is a mother of three children, so I knew she could relate to this example:
“What if a rabid dog came up on your back porch? Would you quote scripture to it in an attempt to run him off?” Her obvious answer was no. She said she’d tell it get it out of here.
“But what if it didn’t obey you?” I asked. She said she’d keep at it until it was long gone.
And this is how all of us need to recognize and deal with the enemy’s devices. The devil is like a rabid dog. When he bombards your mind with fearful or wrong thoughts, you need to tell them “NO!” in the same tone and authority you would use to protect your children from danger.
And no matter how many times he returns, don’t quit!
Jesus said He has given US the authority. Some translations of Luke 10:19 say He has given us “power” over all the “power” of the enemy. Interestingly, these are not the same Greek words.
In the first reference, the word “power” is better translated as “authority” (as in the New King James). It is a combination of two Greek words which describe right and might. And it goes on to describe one’s authority or capability, involving all aspects of ability, power, and strength.
This is what Jesus has delegated to you.
In the second reference, the word “power” describes achievement or literally means “to be able.” In other words, Jesus said He has given us authority over all the possible achievement or ability of the devil. This tells me that no matter what the devil has done in the past, or how realistic a picture of fear he paints in our minds, MY POWER IS STILL GREATER THAN HIS.
And this is why quoting scripture in a fight with fear or depression or any other such attack is NOT going to run him off. It will help you in your faith because God’s Word inspires, but the dog doesn’t care about scripture. The Bible says, “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:9).
We could say it this way: Stand firm against the devil. Don’t believe his lies that you’re the only one going through such things. He’s a liar and your faith is stronger than his weapons!
So what are you going to do today? For sure, you’re NOT going to quote scripture to the dog. Instead, use your authority. Watch him run. And keep at it no matter how many times he tries to return!
Question: How has this understanding changed the way you think about your authority in Christ? [answer in the comments]