I've always said, if you do things the right way, the Devil will fight you! If you never have any trouble or objections from him, you must not be doing the job the Lord wants you to do!
The biggest thing he tries to do to you personally is defeat you, hinder you, discourage you and do whatever he can to try to keep you from winning others.--Because he fears and knows that he's going to lose others from his clutches because of you and your witness! YOU'VE already gotten there, you're saved, born-again, the Lord's possession forever! You're a lost cause as far as the Enemy's concerned. But he knows he's going to lose OTHERS because of you. So what does he do about it?--He tries to hinder and stop you.
This is one of the main reasons why even born-again Christians who love the Lord are sometimes subject to evil spirits that are annoying them, pestering them, bothering them, lying to them and trying to distract them from the work the Lord has called them to. Let's face it, we've ALL had that experience at some time or other. Doesn't the Devil ever talk to YOU?--Of course he does! He lies to you, tries to get you discouraged, tries to get you down, tries to deceive.--Right? We've ALL had trials like that!
Look at all the trouble the enemy caused poor ol' Job! He destroyed his home, destroyed his cattle, all his wealth, he killed all his children, and then he made him so sick his wife urged him to curse God and die!--Job 2:9. Boy, I'll tell you, the Devil can cause you a LOT of trouble! But it finally humbled Job, and God got a great victory out of seeming defeat.
Even Paul the apostle, the great saint that he was, was buffeted, he said, by a messenger of Satan, which is what he called his thorn in the flesh.--2Cor.12:7. But he said it was definitely an emissary of Satan, a "messenger of Satan" that caused him trouble. He still hadn't gotten rid of it at the time of his writing that. But I have an idea he probably got some brethren to pray for him, and so was delivered later on. Of course, he said that he'd prayed several times before writing that, but after openly FACING his fears and his problem, and confessing that he was being buffeted like that, I don't doubt that once he confessed it publicly like that, and asked OTHERS to pray WITH him, that the Lord finally delivered him.
Even Jesus himself was pestered and attacked by the Devil on occasion! He was carried out into the wilderness and tempted by Satan, and even His physical body was allowed to be put under the power of the Devil for a short time.--Imagine! the Devil was allowed to carry His physical body around and really test Him, attack Him! But under the attack He never yielded, but resisted the Enemy with the Word of God and refused to yield, until the Enemy saw Jesus wasn't going to give up, and then HE gave up.
So if the Devil can even pester Jesus like that, certainly he or some of his little demons must work on you at times to pester you!--Especially if you are working hard for the Lord and doing a big job, don't you think the Devil's going to try to get you to stumble and fall and make mistakes so you don't accomplish all the Lord wants you to do?
So if you're having spiritual problems with the Enemy, for God's sake and God's Work sake and your own sake don't be ashamed to ADMIT that you have a problem and that you need HELP! The WORST thing in the World that you can possibly do is have PRIDE, where you want to COVER UP your problem and WON'T honestly ADMIT and CONFESS that you need prayer! If you are unwilling to ADMIT and CONFESS that you have a problem (Jam.5:16), and really cry out desperately and sincerely for God to help you get RID of the Devil's pests, to shake them off, then you're doing just what the ENEMY wants you to do, and you're in trouble!
To confess that you're being attacked, having trouble with the enemy, doesn't mean you're demon-possessed!--It just means you're being ANNOYED, plagued by "messengers of Satan" just like Paul was! Such Satanic spooks are like flies or mosquitoes, they're pests and nuisances, and they ARE annoying, and they do sometimes delay or hinder us temporarily.--But we ALWAYS get the VICTORY over them in the long run if we turn to the LORD and His WORD for help!-Especially if we humble ourselves and ask for united desperate prayer!
It's sort of like having an evil boarder in your house! He's not in CONTROL of the house, but he causes you trouble and annoyance and you don't like him. You may have even told him to leave several times, but he won't leave. So finally, by the authority and the law--in our case, the WORD and the Name of JESUS--you can literally THROW him out!--And that's what this lesson and prayer are all about, how you can overcome, get rid of and be delivered from the Enemy and his devices!
Jesus said, "all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth!"--Mat.28:18. And if you have JESUS, you have His POWER!--So even the demons and devils of Hell are subject unto you, and they HAVE to do what you tell them to do!--As the disciples exclaimed, "Even the DevilS are SUBJECT unto us!"--Lk.10:17.
"Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!" (1Jn.4:4), and our God is certainly MUCH bigger than any devil! So it is very important that you know what your RIGHTS are in the Lord, and what your authority is, and how to handle these matters, and how to rebuke them by name!
You have absolute power over them, and they have to obey what you order them to do in the Name of Jesus! They HAVE to! So you need to recognise and take the definite authority that God has given you through His Word, and rebuke the Enemy in Jesus' name and command him to go, and he will! The demons and evil spirits are SUBJECT to you, they have no free will of their own, they cannot do as they please. They have to do what you TELL them to do in Jesus' name, and to get the Hell out of here!
All the Devils of hell, including Satan himself, are subject to your power because you have the power of CHRIST! You can tell him where to get off or go jump in the lake or dive off the deep end! Martin Luther got so angry at the Devil one time that he even threw an ink well, a bottle of ink at him, but he missed him and it splattered all over the wall!--Because the Devil is a spirit, and you can't very well hit an evil spirit with a bottle of ink!
The only thing you can hit him with is a bottle of the Word of God! YOU'RE the bottle, and out of your mouth you can pour forth the Word of God! You can sock it to him out of your bottle, out of the fullness of your heart, your mouth that speaks the Word of God, and that REALLY splatters him! He really doesn't like that at all, it really messes him up, and he turns tail and runs!
God's Word tells us not to be ignorant of the Devil's devices, so although I don't even like to talk about it and I'd rather emphasise the POSITIVE, you need to be able to RECOGNIZE the Enemy and his wiles so you can fight and overcome him! The Lord is very concerned that you understand these things and that you know how to deal with them, and that you be enlightened on this subject so that you can face down the Devil and his demons and resist them and cast them out and rebuke them and drive them away and get RID of their annoyances and pestering and afflictions!
So what are "devil's devices", how does he try to hinder us, stop us, slow us down etc.? Here are a few of his most common wiles:
He can often play strongly on our weaknesses, frailties or besetting sins, and can even empower them and constantly tempt us with them.
For example, some people can have a spirit of worry or nervousness that seems to pester them, and that's a form of FEAR, which is not of God at all!--"For GOD has NOT given us the spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND!"--2Tim.1:7. Such oppressive spirits can cause doubt, discouragement, worry etc.
They put thoughts in people's heads and inspire them to say or do things which they shouldn't. They're not in FULL possession, but some Christians, not even realising it's the Devil talking to them and hindering them, obey such impulses, and if that habit keeps up they can wind up in total DEFEAT to where they're obeying the Enemy and listening to him instead of the Lord!--It's pitiful that Christians who know and love the Lord can wind up hosting such pests for years, being annoyed and pestered and oppressed and spiritually handicapped by them without even recognising and rebuking them!
The Devil likes to play on our weaknesses, especially if he can find a motivation for it, some sin or unyieldedness in our mind or heart that will give his doubts or fears a little extra push, knowing that we would LIKE to believe that doubt or sort of ENJOY having that fear or harbouring that resentment, bitterness, murmuring or whatever it is. He tries to influence your mind or your spirit to accept his thoughts, his doubts and complaints, to get you AGREEING with him instead of FIGHTING him and resisting him and realising how much he's influencing you!
If people insist on hanging on to their pride or their jealousy or their selfishness or whatever their particular weakness is, they can pray and rebuke the Devil till they're blue in the face, but they're still not going to get the victory!-Because UNYIELDED SIN in the heart or life is an OPEN DOOR, an invitation for the evil spirits to return. The first requirement for victory is, "SUBMIT YOURSELF to God!"--THEN you have the POWER to "resist the Devil" and make him flee!--Jam.4:7.
Another means by which the enemy often attacks people is by plaguing them with familiar spirits from their past.--Like the story I've frequently told of Mr. Machowski and that evil spirit, Tom, who continued to plague him even after he got saved. It no longer possessed him, but it annoyed him from the OUTSIDE, OPPRESSION, not possession. It wasn't until Machowski finally opposed it and fought back and definitely commanded Tom to depart in the Name of Jesus that he finally got the victory. SOMETIMES PEOPLE DRAG A FEW HUSKS FROM THE SWINE PIT OF THEIR FORMER LIVES WITH THEM WHEN THEY COME TO THE LORD. We all have a problem with some things from our old life or our past or the old self which we still have a battle with.--But those who have been involved in any kind of actual demonism, spiritism or witchcraft, Devil worship or any kind of meddling with the Devil and evil, perverse spirits before they were saved, this is sometimes a very hard thing to shake.
Such cases who have come out of the occult or out of any kind of spiritual dabbling or involvement with the Enemy have to baptise themselves continually in PRAYER, soak themselves in the WORD, memorise and quote Scriptures constantly to the Devil and to themselves. They have to wage a MILITANT warfare against the Enemy! Now we ALL have to do this to a certain extent, but it's not quite the same.
Those who have been involved in that sort of thing, who have once been a CHANNEL for the Enemy, they often tend to sort of carry those things with them, unless they really have strong faith and can really FIGHT them!--Which usually requires desperate united prayer, a full baptism of the Holy Spirit, and a constant militant warfare waged against the Enemy with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God! The only way to get a total victory over such past influences is to be honest, confess it, name it, attack it, fight it and defeat it!
Another source of demonic trouble can come from people, those who are in tune with the Devil who may curse or despise us, and thereby literally be praying to the Devil and sending hindering spirits or demons to bother us! It's the Devil's own spirits that do the dirty work, sent by Satan at the behest of a devoted follower of his. There are people alive today who hate us and are already under the control of the Devil who are trying to fight us not only physically but SPIRITUALLY.--And when such anti-God enemies DIE, they go into the Spirit World, continuing to serve the Devil in the spirit, and therefore can CONTINUE to try to fight and hinder you from the Spirit Realm!
So if you're being hindered or attacked by the Enemy, it's important to try to find out who is influencing you in the spirit! It could very well be an anti-Christ, anti-God relative or somebody from the past who knows you and would be interested in your defeat, someone who has a GRUDGE against you and what you're doing for the Lord. You've got to recognise such things and attack them head-on, and ask the Lord to give you the victory over it, and then resist those influences!
So when people pray for deliverance, they not only need to pray for deliverance from the Devil and his evil spirits, but sometimes they need to also pray against some of the PEOPLE who are BEHIND them, backing them, and sending their curses by means of those little devils!--Get at the ROOT of the problem! We not only need to fight the Devil, but the Devil's PEOPLE as well, or at least pray that GOD will fight them and curse them in Jesus' name! You can only "Bless them that curse you" (Mat.5:44), for so long--then you have to start CURSING them before they cause you any more trouble!
Whatever the "device" that the Devil is using to try to defeat you, it's important to try to discern and determine what kind of spirit or demon it is! In one case, Jesus demanded, "What is thy NAME?" And the Devils answered, "Legion, for we are many!"--Mk.5:9. Many faith healers and exorcists have said that it's important to be able to NAME and EXPOSE the spirit by NAME, that it's the most effective way to exorcise them. So try to identify them if possible.--But even if you DON'T know exactly who or what they are, the LORD knows, and He will deliver you from EVERY device of the Devil if you desperately pray, believe His Word and cry out to Him for deliverance!
Of course, you can't blame all of your troubles and problems on the Devil!-Usually he couldn't TOUCH you if it weren't for your OWN spirit that lets him in and LETS him cause you trouble! The spirit you have the MOST trouble with is not EVIL spirits, it's your OWN spirit! That's the one that hasn't usually been conquered yet, and the one that still has free will and free choice to do as it pleases.
The evil spirits are subject unto us. it's your own spirit that's often not as subject as it should be, that's the one you have the MOST trouble with! It's your own spirit that's still not conquered if you don't yield it completely to the Lord. I remember in our old Soul Clinic schools we used to have people complaining about evil spirits and demons and devils, "Oh, the Devil did this, and the Devil did that and he caused me this trouble and he was the one that delayed me and I have so much trouble with the Devil!" I'd say, "Stop it!--Your problem isn't the Devil! It's your OWN God-damned spirit that you have the MOST trouble with, not evil spirits! Your OWN evil spirit is the one that gives you the most trouble-YOU!"
Our number one problem is usually ourselves! Our number two problem is usually OTHERS, and our number three problem is usually SPIRITS. YOU are your own WORST Enemy!--And the only way you're ever going to conquer your OWN spirit, is not to try to conquer it, but to let JESUS conquer it! He's your own best FRIEND, and the key to getting spiritual victories is to yield yourself COMPLETELY to Him!
Whether or not you get the victory over your problems is up to you! The main one that can get rid of the Devil is YOU, if you'll just put your will on GOD'S side, resist the Enemy, resist and rebuke him! But as long as there's one little dark unyielded corner of your life that you're not willing to yield to the Lord, just one little part where the Enemy can get in at you there, like the camel's nose, he will use that one little thing to defeat you.
It's hard enough to fight the Devil without having to fight God too!--And that's often why we have to fight the Devil so much, because we're fighting God and the Truth as well! But if we're willing to do whatever God requires, and are YIELDED to Him, and make the decision that we WANT to be delivered, without reservations, then He never fails and ALWAYS delivers!
But if you don't want to be delivered and your own will refuses to submit to the Lord, then the Devil has got you in a real bind. You CAN get the victory if you WANT to, if you CHOOSE to, because God's got it for you. There are oodles of promises on it, so there's absolutely NO EXCUSE for not getting the victory. The choice is up to YOU and your OWN will and spirit.--Not God or the Devil!
Once you've decided that you want the victory and you've put your will on God's side, then you've got to go on the ATTACK and really be militant about it and resist the Enemy, and God's Word says, "He WILL flee from thee!"--Jam.4:7. That doesn't mean lying down and letting him walk all over you, it means FACING him, ATTACKING him and RESISTING him in the power of God's Spirit!
If you face and fight the Devil, he knows you'll win! If you fight, he knows YOU cannot LOSE and HE cannot WIN, so he tries to scare you or discourage you into GIVING UP the fight, to persuade you into surrendering. He tries to convince you to QUIT and wave the white flag of sickening SURRENDER!--And if you STOP fighting, you're giving the Devil the victory and you are finished!
So there's only one way to handle the Enemy, and that's to declare all-out war on him, and run him right out of the woods! The God-damned Devil is a COWARD, and if you face him down and resist him, he'll run every time! The Lord says, "When the Enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God will raise a Standard against him!"--Isa.59:19. What's the Standard?--The BIBLE, the Word of God! It's the Standard, the banner that you wave in front of the Devil's sharp pointed nose, and there's nothing that scares him like the WORD! He can't take it, he can't stand the Word of God!
The Devil is a liar and the father of lies (Jn.8:44), and he can't take the TRUTH of God's WORD! So take up that white-hot Sword of the Spirit and cut the Devil to the heart!-Whack away! Quote Scriptures like Jesus did!--"It is WRITTEN!"--Mat.4:1-10.
The only kind of business you can do with the Devil is against him, to FIGHT him, curse him, curse his work and ask God to rebuke him and deliver you! "Give NO place to the Devil!"--Eph.4:27. I have NO patience with him at all, he just makes me mad and I want to blow him away!
I hate the Enemy with a perfect hatred!--Psa.139:22. I LOVE to FIGHT him!-As a strong man that loves to run a race, and a strong man that rejoiceth and shouteth by reason of wine, as a knight that loves the fray and arouseth himself to fight the enemy! I like to hit him head-on, and rebuke him in the Name of Jesus and the power of the Spirit, and get RID of him! Hallelujah!
It's not enough to meekly mutter and quote Scriptures! You've got to really FIGHT, RESIST and REBUKE him!--That's a big part of getting deliverance! Granted, sometimes simply believing and claiming the Word IS enough, with LITTLE problems that don't bother us too much. But in DIFFICULT cases, BIG cases, you've got to really FIGHT the Enemy! Jesus made a difference in cases when He said about one demon that His disciples were unable to cast out, "This kind cometh not out but by PRAYER and FASTING."--Mat.17:21. In other words, some require more EFFORT than others.
So if you really want deliverance, you're going to have to really fight back and "stir yourself up" (Isa.64:7) to really WANT the victory. It's not just a matter of saying a little prayer, but it's STIRRING up your SPIRIT, stirring up yourself, asking the Lord to make you DESPERATE to get the victory, to WANT to FIGHT! You can read and say the words of the following prayer, but if you really want the victory over genuine spiritual problems and spiritual battles, you've got to have an attitude of DESPERATION, of a stirred-up spirit that's on the ATTACK! You've got to have that attitude in your heart!--Not just read and pray and shout at the Enemy, which is a good thing to do, but you've got to really FEEL it and BELIEVE it and be on the ATTACK, not lethargic or lukewarm! (TONGUES HELP!)
You've got to sock it to the Enemy and overcome the barriers that he tries to put in your path to keep you from getting the victory and blessing and deliverance that God has for you! You've got to be MILITANT and aggressive and really sock it to him! You can't have an attitude of, "Oh, what a weariness, another fight with the Devil!" You've got to be CHALLENGED and you've got to be THANKFUL for the battle because you know you're going to WIN the victory! Hallelujah!
So if you need and want a deliverance from any deep-seated spiritual problems, demonic influences or devil's pests, then get RID of them NOW by stirring yourself up and launching a direct attack! Be specific and even NAME the demon or the vices or weaknesses that the Enemy is using to tempt, weaken or defeat you, if possible, and command the Enemy to depart in Jesus' name!--And he WILL!
Pray fervently against anything and everything that could possibly be a foothold of the Enemy: Pride, self-righteousness, rebellion, criticism, selfishness, anger, jealousy, or WHATEVER "devices" the Enemy is using to hinder your effectiveness for the Lord! It's better to have prayer against any spirits that COULD be bothering you, just in case, even if there aren't any! So even if you don't know exactly WHAT'S bothering you, it's better to go all-out and assume the worst and in Jesus' Name get rid of anything that might be there!
I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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