USE YOUR WORDS
For the first few centuries, the church felt all believers could have victory over demons by Jesus’ power in prayer. But before long some church leaders started feeling that the ability to command demons to be gone was a special gift only given to some believers. Some still believed every believer had authority to pray for this in Jesus’ name, though. But by the middle of the third century (about AD 250) the order of Exorcist had been added to the Roman church. Now the ability to cast out demons was no longer viewed as a gift bestowed by God but rather as an appointment made by the church. The church, they felt, had the authority to give the ability to remove demonizing to whomever it chose. They felt only those with this bestowal could have authority over demons. That is not what Jesus said, though.
Sometimes today feel their freedom depends on going to a deliverance minister, and it has to be the person who ministers in a way they think is most effective. They may think that only that gifted person can bring deliverance and depend on them more than they should. While there are those God has gifted and uses, it is always and only by Jesus’ power that deliverance comes. It may be through another, or it may be by any believer who uses the power and authority God gives each of us. Don’t feel you must depend on others, God gives YOU all you need in Him!
In Jesus we have both power ( dunamis dunamis – Luke 9:1; 24:49; Acts 1:8; 4:33; 6:8 Ephesians 1:18-23; Hebrews 2:14-15) and authority (exousia exousia – Luke 10:1,17-20; Matthew 10:1,8; Mark 3:15; 6:7; I John 4:4). Power comes from the Holy Spirit within (Acts 1:8), authority comes from our relationship as a child of Jesus (John 1:12). A policeman has both authority (badge) and power (gun or club). Both come from a source outside himself, as do ours (Colossians 12:9-10). Satan also has power (Luke 10:19; I Corinthians 15:24; I Peter 3:22) and authority (Luke 4:6; Acts 26:10; I Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; 2:2; 3:10; 6:12). Demons have these, also (Revelation 9:3,10,19; Colossians 1:16; 2:10; I Peter 3:22). God’s power and authority is superior to that which Satan & the demons have. Men without Jesus do not have power or authority anywhere near to Satan and his demons, though.
In all areas it is Jesus’ strength, not ours, that gives us victory (Philippians 4:13). God promises to give us power (II Timothy 1:7; II Thessalonians 3:2-3). God is faithful to keep His promise to strengthen us (Numbers 23:19; Philippians 1:4-6; Hebrews 10:22-23). Our part is to use His strength. We are to fight, but in His strength. We must put on the armor God provides and stand in His strength (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are promised what when we resist Satan in God’s strength that Satan will flee (James 4:7; I Peter 5:8-9). Victory is assured when we fight in His might (I Corinthians 15:57; II Corinthians 2:14; I John 5:5). French Painter Emile Ranouf, in a painting called “A Helping Hand,” depicted an old man dressed in fisherman’s garb, seated in boat with little girl beside him. Both have hands on an oar. He is looking down fondly and admiringly at her. Apparently he has told her that she may assist him in rowing the boat, and she feels she is doing a great share of the task. It is easy to see it is his strong, muscular arm doing the work. That’s how it is with us and Jesus! It’s all by His grace! So don’t hesitate to pray for yourself or for others – but always in Jesus’ name.