Jesus taught us to have authority!
“Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world” (Eph. 6:12 NCV).
Jesus modelled the behaviour we are to have when we are confronted by the mostly unseen evil spiritual realm. In the Mark 5 record Jesus was confronted by a crazed demoniac and Jesus ordered the unclean spirit to come out of him, “You evil spirit, come out of the man” (Mk. 5:8). There were, in fact, a legion of demons in the man yet Jesus addressed the one destructive spirit behind their actions, Satan.
Jesus ordered the spirits to go into a nearby herd of pigs where those destructive spirits that caused the madman to afflict and cut himself with stones caused the supernatural obliteration of around 2,000 pigs. (I say “supernatural” because pigs can swim and it was something out of the norm that caused those pigs to drown.)
Jesus didn’t need to name each of the spirits – it was sufficient to name and banish their authority. We need to follow His lead.
As Christians, we encounter the evil realm all the time, everywhere! We see people afflicted with diseases, mental disorders, curses, spells, addicted, enmeshed in sin and spiritual blindness and we have the authority of Jesus transferred to us so that we can command those evil spirits to leave.
The Spirit indwelling the Christians helps in identifying an evil spirit in or on a person. Some people see the Spirit on a person like a cloud or a full apparition, others feel the presence of a heaviness, others discern the spirit by the behaviour of a person, especially if they can’t look you in the eyes.
When the Spirit of God dwells in you, you have been gifted His greater power to wield authority over the demons of this wicked world: “God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NCV). In the name of Jesus the Spirit-filled believer is more than a conqueror over all the army of the enemy.
Jesus taught us to pray to be safe from Satan but He also gave us the tools to combat Him:
“And do not cause us to be tempted, but save us from the Evil One.’ [The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen.]” (Matt. 6:13 NCV).
John summarised our position with these words:
“We know that those who are God’s children do not continue to sin. The Son of God keeps them safe, and the Evil One cannot touch them. We know that we belong to God, but the Evil One controls the whole world. We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we can know the True One. And our lives are in the True One and in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and the eternal life” (I John 5:18-20 NCV).