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February 19, 2014

Breaking from the Stronghold of the Devil

I feel so sad when I see some Christians living in subjection to the devil by constantly being afraid of him. The Bible says, "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). It never said the fear of the devil produces anything good in your life. God gave man dominion over the entire creation by making him the crown of creation. Why then do some Christians fear the devil more than they fear God? Many times we question many natural disasters and question whether they come from God. Yet, when we see murders and all kinds of violent acts of men, we immediately associate such demonic behavior with the devil. WE have seen so many of the acts of the devil, so much people start to be afraid of the devil more than their reverence fear of God.

"Choose today, whom you shall serve" (Joshua 24:15). What ever you serve is what you fear. Whatever you worship is what you serve. Behind every aspect of worship, there is a spirit. Sadly, some people have sold their souls to the devil because they want money, fame and illicit spiritual power. Eventually if those people do not change course they will suddenly perish. The devil knows how to cheer a person to the pinnacle of success. Once the person reaches the peak, he or she looks down and see how far the fall may be. If you dabble with the devil, you will pay a painful price. If the person is unwilling to pay, the devil will push him, so he can pay with his own blood. At times, a person may pay with a sudden death of a loved one. I feel sorry for some people who call themselves Christians and are still dabbling in the occult because they have a love affair with the devil instead of with the Holy Spirit.

Devil Cannot Imprison You

The key to my point in this article is simple. The devil has no power over you except the one you handed over to him. The devil has no prison to put you in, except the one that you build with your own hand by opening the door for him. The devil can oppress you. He does this by pushing so many thoughts through your mind. This is no different from you going through a carnival and seeing many attractions. Very unlikely a person will be able to experience all the attractions of a very large carnival. You are going to pass through many people in a crowd and not be able to notice all of them. At times people you know will pass you by in a large crowd and being unable to recognize them because of so many faces to see at the same time. Similarly, the devil will throw all kinds of thoughts through your mind. Do not let them stick. The moment you feel being bombarded by negative thought of the enemy, that moment you have stepped out of the will of the Holy Spirit. Once a person is out of the realm of the Holy Spirit, access to the Spirit realm of God is diminished while the devil opens up his spirit realm before you. A person who walks away from the master’s protection becomes prey to be eaten by the enemy of his master. This is the more reason why Jesus wants his followers to identify their positions daily through prayer and meditating on the word of God. Jesus knows we are mis-positioned when you allow the lust of the flesh to drag us away from the Lord. The question is, do we know when we mis-position ourselves because we want to have excessive lusting in the flesh thereby igniting illicit desires within human soul?

 Setting Prisoners Free Versus Deliverance of the Oppressed

When Jesus said, I came to set the prisoners free, he was not referring to people alive or Christians with indwelling of the Holy Spirit. A non-Christian can offer his soul to the devil at will. That’s the choice some people are making today because they want to be famous. But any human being created in the image of God does not have to offer his or her soul to the devil. When Jesus talked about setting the captives free, he was referring to Ephesians chapter 4, "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men" (Ephesians 4:8).

When Jesus descended after death he went to preach to those spirits in prison (I Peter 3:19). After he finished preaching, Jesus took those spirits with him to Heaven. These spirits are those which Jesus was referring in St. Luke 4:18 in his mission statement to set the prisoners free. This was part of his mission on earth. The second part of the same verse 18 said, "To set at liberty those that are oppressed" (St. Luke 4:18). That statement referred to those Christians with indwelling of the Holy Spirit who are going to be subjected to the attack of the devil. Interestingly, the Holy Spirit was not indwelling at the time Jesus was describing his mission statement. Jesus tended to talk about future events in present tense many times throughout his ministry. Consequently, if you are a Christian with indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and you intend for the devil to put you in prison, forget it. He can oppress you, but he cannot possess you or put you in a prison. However, at will, people can surrender their desires to the devil and remain in bondage because they choose to do so.

Mis-positioning Yourself in the Spirit

Do not allow anybody to fool you that the devil can put you in a prison! Hell no!

I remember conducting a Bible class and a troubled woman interrupted the lesson when I made this explanation. She said with trembling voice, "You need to be careful saying that because each time I looked, I see the devil." Immediately I cut in and stopped her statement and quoted, Jesus said, "I have given power to trample over scorpions, over serpents, over all powers of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (St. Luke 10:19).

If you are a Christian and constantly seeing the devil, it is a good clue to let you know you are mis-positioned in the spirit realm. If you are in the Spirit realm of God, the door to seeing the enemy of God is shut. That does not mean he will not create interference from time to time, but it is not normal to be in the realm of God and daily facing with bad images of the devil. When a person is in the realm of God, the spiritual screen of God usually opens to that person. The person is also temporarily detached from the physical realm while in ascension Spirit of God. When the desires of the flesh start to govern human action to the point of obsession, the person is no longer walking in the Spirit of God, but that of human spirit. While we walk in the human spirit, we become powerless and the enemy can easily seduce us with false information as enticement. Sadly, many educated people with book knowledge have fallen as prey to the deception of the devil because they either lack, or refused to use the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Empowerment over the Oppression of the Devil

In comparing St. Luke 4:18 about those that are oppressed, the author of the Book of Acts echoed the same thing Jesus said. "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). It did not say those people were in prison. Jesus said the same thing, "I came to set at liberty those that are oppressed" (St. Luke 4:18).

Jesus knew that the devil has being playing games in the earthly realm for a while. However, Jesus exposed the tactics of the devil, so we should not be afraid of him. If you want to be afraid of the devil, it is the choice that you make, but you do not have to. Similarly, salvation is by choice! You can choose to go to Heaven by accepting Jesus, or you go for the deception of the devil and follow him straight to hell. Choose today whom you shall serve. "As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

If you feel you are under attacks by the devil, you do not have to surrender to him. Blast his head off with the word of God with Psalm 91, 121, 23, 46, 27 and St. Luke 10:19. The devil has no power over you except the one you give him by opening the window for him. Unfortunately, people will open their front door for Jesus while they are in church on Sunday and reading the Bible. During the weekdays, they open their windows for the devil. Then they wonder why they are being tormented by the devil. If you keep partying with the devil, he will eventually destroy you because, "The thief comes but to steal kill and destroy" (St. John 10:10A). I will be wise enough to go with Jesus because he said, "I come so they may have life more abundantly" (St. John 10:10B).

Do not allow the devil to deceive you with earthly riches as he does to some people. Always remember, the richest and wisest person becomes the poorest person after death. A rich man is no different from a poor man after death because neither of them can spend their money at will.

Jesus assurance: "I go and prepare a place for you" (St. John 14:3).

I hope you make a wise decision.

By Yinka Vidal, author, Closer Walk with Jesus.

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