By Tom Shanklin
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19, KJV.
In recent weeks I’ve been sharing some messages with you about Satan and his cohorts, and how to deal with them. Here’s a couple of them:
I don’t like to focus too much attention on Satan, because I don’t want to give him any glory. But at the same time, it’s important that we recognize our enemy and learn how to deal with him. Therefore, this week we’re going to take this a little further.
There are many benefits to knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, but one of the greatest is authority over the devil.
The triumph of good over evil, and God over Satan, is very central to God’s purpose in sending Jesus to the earth. As the scripture says, “…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8, KJV. This purpose was accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection. He died on the cross to deliver us from the power of darkness, and he rose from the dead and was seated in the heavenlies far above “all principality and power.” Jesus is Lord of all and is above all.
What Jesus did is a finished work. He spoiled principalities and powers, triumphing over them in it. Satan is a defeated foe. However, Satan is still operating on the earth, because people are giving place to him.
Christian believers can walk in the victory that Jesus obtained for us, and we can “tread upon serpents and scorpions and all the power of the enemy.” This is because everything that Jesus obtained belongs to us by joint inheritance. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. (Rom 8:17) and we are seated together with Him in heavenly places. (Eph. 2:6)
This is what the scripture calls being “in Christ” or “in Him.” We are united with Christ and all He has is ours. This is why we have absolute authority over Satan and his cohorts. Jesus gave the very first sign that was to follow believers as “…In my name shall they cast out devils…” Mark 16:17, KJV.
The keys to walking in this authority are:
- Receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
- Learn who you are “in Christ” and know your authority.
- Exercise authority over demonic powers through the words you speak.
Years ago, when I first started in full time ministry, I learned something about using words to defeat the enemy.
Shortly after I became the pastor of a small local church in northern Minnesota, I began to experience a very heavy depression. I was really struggling to keep my head above water mentally and emotionally. I was fine when I was in the pulpit preaching, but it was in between services that I was really struggling. My mind seem to dwell on the negative and I had a pervasive sense of hopelessness.
Finally, I realized that Satan was attacking my mind. You see, often depression is really oppression. Christian believers cannot be possessed by a devil, but they can be oppressed. And this is to the degree that they “buy the lie” and listen to his message of doom and gloom. The Bible teaches that wicked spirits are in the atmosphere and they can make suggestions to our minds. This is why we must learn to “cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.” (See 2 Cor. 10:3-5)
A friend of mine, Bob Buess, had produced Scripture cards on various subjects to help Christians. One was called “How to Stay Free from Spirits of Oppression.” I took that card out of the pack and began to meditate and quote the scriptures. I did that at least three times a day. Within a short time I noticed that the heaviness lifting off of my mind.
The scriptures that I used are available on a post on our website called “Overcoming Oppression.” It is one of the most popular posts on our website. It seems many people are looking for help in this area. The way to use them is to read the scriptures out loud and then to personalize them or quote them in first person as a confession of faith. For example:
Read: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, KJV).
Confess: I submit myself to God and his love and power. I resist the devil [of fear, anxiety, oppression, depression and torment] and he flees from me in terror. Go, devil, go, in Jesus name!
We even see this principle of confessing God’s Word in Jesus’ life. You can read about in Luke 4, where the devil came to tempt him. Every time he was tempted, Jesus would say, “It is written Satan…” and then He would quote a scripture. Well, if the Son of God needed to use Scripture to run Satan off, how much more do you and I need to use the Word of God to overcome the spiritual battles in our lives.
Interestingly, the temptation of Jesus came just before He was about to begin His public ministry. Likewise, if you are trying to do something for God or if God is moving you into a new level of ministry, Satan will attempt to derail you with one of his strategic weapons of deceptive negative thoughts. Have no fear, however. You CAN overcome him with the Word of God.
I want to encourage you to check out the post, Overcoming Oppression. Bookmark it and come back to it several times a day. Or you can also print it out and keep a copy in your Bible. I’ve shared those scriptures with many people. In some cases these were people who had gone through deliverance from demonic power. In other words, someone had cast the afflicting spirit out of their minds. Immediately, they had received help, but after some time the spirits afflicting or oppressing them came back again. However by using these scriptures, they were able to take authority over the evil power and walk in freedom and continual deliverance.
Comments We’ve Received on This Post…
This is a really good message. I have used and confessed the scriptures from your “Overcoming Oppression” article in the past. I have an awesome testimony about this, and I don’t know if I shared it with you or not. Years ago I was suffering greatly with anxiety in the night. It would get so bad that I could not sleep and my stomach was in knots. I would worry about everything, all night long. I lost a lot of sleep because of excessive anxiety. I had your “Overcoming Oppression” article on my fridge. I got up in the middle of the night and I went and started to confess those Scriptures and tell the devil to leave. Something really amazing happened. I physically felt the oppression lift off of me. It was an actual physical manifestation. Also, I like that you said Christians are not possessed by the devil, but oppressed. I don’t believe we can be possessed either. How can the Holy Spirit and a demon live within us at the same time. The demon would have to flee if the Holy Spirit is truly there. However, I have friends that believe Christians can be possessed. I think the demons greatly bother us and try to oppress etc… but I don’t believe we are possessed if we are truly following Christ. (Minneapolis Area)
I thought it interesting your comments on depression and oppression. We have witnessed Satan in people. The basics of deliverance ministry is Satan has power but no authority but we have both in Christ. We can overcome by doing what you suggest in His (Christ’s) name. But, we must know we have the God given authority and power to overcome. (Rochester, Minnesota)