Knowing Your Place

In Luke 10 we read the amazing account of how the seventy two appointed disciples were successful in their mission. Knowing that demons are subject to us can be a heady experience for some, so the Lord said to them; “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (10:18-20).

Snakes and bugs are not our enemy. Jesus is obviously referring to Satan and his hoard of demons. Every believer should know that they have authority over the enemy, but that is not our source of joy. The joy comes from knowing who we are in Christ, and that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That is the source of our “being,” the other is to enable our “doing.” Knowing who we are puts the focus on the answer, and keeps us dependent upon God. The apostle Paul taught us to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10). It is God’s authority and God’s power that we rely upon.

Many are the victims who have tried to exercise God’s authority and power in the flesh and have gotten thoroughly trounced in the process. I was doing a conference in Austria and a missionary couple from Africa brought their son to be set free. I was taking the group through the Steps to Freedom and I knew the young man couldn’t process the Steps in a group setting. So I asked two missionaries who had some experience to help the young man, but it didn’t work. In fact one of the two came back with a torn shirt pocket. He told me, “I said I was a child of God and the evil one couldn’t touch me. Why didn’t that work?” I said, “1 Jn. 5:18 is not a formula to be applied. Knowing that the evil one cannot touch us is an inner conviction. It is taking our place in Christ and ministering in His authority and power.” I suspect he was somewhat fearful and was responding defensively to the spiritual opposition. The enemy can sniff that out in a hurry. The Lord still protected him, but it was a valuable lesson, and he went on to be a freedom fighter in Italy.

The next morning I met with the young man and said, “This is not a question of who has the authority and the power to rule,” to which he protested immediately. So I asked him to repeat after me out loud, “All authority has been given to Jesus in heaven and upon this earth. Satan you have no authority in my life and you have no power over me, because I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.” He struggled saying that, but from then on we encountered no resistance going through the Steps to Freedom.

Dr. Neil

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