May 21th

 

Christ Supreme   

"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority."  Colossians 2:9-10 NIV

"And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross."  Colossians 2:15 NIV

9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11 NIV 

Remembering the authority that Jesus won on the cross can be a tremendous help in facing daily temptations that come our way.  Jesus Christ defeated every evil power and authority in existence when he was resurrected from the dead.  He even made a “public spectacle” of them.   

We who believe in Jesus receive the right to become children of God (John 1:12) and inherit his authority over evil.  Paul wrote, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:7 NIV).  This authority can be used to directly confront evil powers behind temptations.  Jesus said, "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:19-20 NIV).  Granted, not all temptations are demonically inspired, but for those that are, we can use our Christ-won authority to bind up tempting thoughts and rebuke the sources.   

Sexual temptation is one of the enemy’s favorites and many people succumb to it.  Sexual sin gives the enemy powerful footholds in people which can be exploited by demonic forces to keep people enslaved to sexual desires. For example, looking at pornography gives the viewer lasting images that can remain in their mind as a source of temptation for a lifetime. Evil spirits are also able to orchestrate temptations that cater to people’s natural desires, their memories of sin and their generational weaknesses.   

How do we know when temptations are demonically inspired?  This is something that we can ask God to reveal to us via the Holy Spirit.  Very often people who are demonically oppressed will know it.  For them, the spirits have recognizable personalities.  Their voices will probably be all too familiar to them, characterized by mockery, insults and threats.  They probably will have difficulty finding peace of mind, because the spirits torment them and steal their peace.   

Steps people can take in countering oppression from evil spirits involve walking in the authority that is rightfully ours in Jesus.  This includes the following actions: 

1)      Take every thought that enters our minds captive to obeying Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5): This means that we don’t allow our minds to fantasize about or further explore a sinful thought.  We can spiritually restrain or “bind” a thought on the basis of Matthew 18:18-20.

2)      Cast down sinful imaginations and speculations (2 Corinthians 10:5): Once we recognize a sinful thought, we’re obligated to cast it out of our minds.  Like a bag of trash, we need to jettison it from mind and not pick it back up

3)      Take authority over every voice in our minds that is not of God and command them to be silent.  For example:  “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to be silent,” or “In the name of Jesus Christ, I bind every ungodly spirit from speaking into my thoughts.” 

4)      Rebuke / Reject every ungodly spirit that is tormenting us:  “In the name of Jesus Christ, I rebuke you, evil spirit and command you to leave me now and go straight to Jesus for him to deal with you.”

5)      Plead the blood of Jesus Christ over our mind, body and spirit:  The blood of Jesus is the vehicle that won our reconciliation with God (through our faith).  The blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony is how we overcome the devil and his schemes against us (Revelation 12:11). 

6)      Call on Jesus for help in prayer when we’re tempted:  Though we have great authority in Christ, we may not be spiritually prepared to fight the temptation in front of us.  We can always call on Jesus for help and he will help us (Hebrews 2:18)!

7)      Speak the scriptures that apply to the temptation:  When Jesus faced Satan in the wilderness temptations (Luke 4), he exclusively quoted scriptures to refute the devil.  See Temptation Verses for examples. 

Whatever we do, we should not give up the fight against temptations.  As a famous naval officer once yelled to his crew, "Fight her till she sinks and don’t give up the ship!"  Our ship will not sink with Jesus onboard.  He will help us keep our ship afloat and defeat the enemy. 

For more information on dealing with demonic oppression see our Deliverance Study

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, thank you that I am a child of God and share in your inheritance rights.  Thank you that in your name I have authority over every evil spirit.  Thank you that I have the mind of Christ and that I can take every thought captive and make it obedient to you. Thank you that I can reject every evil thought and set my mind on pure thoughts.  Thank you that the blood of Jesus cleanses and protects my mind.   Thank you that in you I have access to all the power I need to overcome the obstacles I face.  Please guide me in truth and teach me how to live in victory each day.  Thank You, Jesus!  In your name I pray, Amen.”