Angels and demons sound like fantasy or superstition to many Westerners. The devil doesn’t seem to fit in with scientific thinking. However, some of you will have no doubt of their existence, because you have recognised their influence.
If you believe in the spiritual and the divine, it is not hard to believe in evil spirits and they are Biblical. We have all seen evil in the world, but we don’t always see behind the headlines. Perhaps this suits the enemy of our souls.
Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar
C S Lewis
Equality with God
Good and evil are not equal opponents in a cosmic battle.
Almighty God has always been much more powerful than the devil. Lucifer wanted to be equal with the Lord, but it was never possible for him. Only 1/3 of the angels fell and so the principalities and powers of this present age have always been outnumbered 2:1.
And no mere angel can defeat the Lord God. He is all powerful.
No longer Cursed
Paganism and witchcraft has resurged in the West and they have never been hidden in Africa and the Middle East. In North Africa there is the practice of using Quranic verses in curses in various forms of folk Islam. In sub-Saharan Africa churchgoers will also visit witchdoctors.
I have met families from the Middle East who have persistent bad luck and believe they have been jinxed. It is possible, but there is no curse that is effective against the people of God.
When Balaam was offered money to curse the Israelites he was rebuked by a donkey and could only bless them, because he recognised that the Lord had blessed, not cursed, them. He said, 'There is no divination against Jacob, no evil omens against Israel.'
Numbers 23 v 23 (NIV)
If this was true during the Old Covenant, how much more will it be true in the New Covenant and for the new Israel.
Jesus defeated the power of the enemy and of all curses when he was crucified,
including the curse of the law.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.'
Galatians 3 v 13 (NIV)
Jesus was cursed so that we could be blessed
Jesus became weak to give us power
Power in weakness
As Paul explains in his second letter to Corinth:
For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power.
Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him in our dealing with you.
2 Corinthians 13 v 4 (NIV)
If we trust in our own strength, then we are merely weak humans,
but if we trust in His divine strength, then we are strong.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12 v 9 - 10 (NIV)
No Longer Natural to Sin
We also have the power to defeat sin in our lives.
If something is dead to you and you are dead to it, it no longer has power over you.
We died with Christ and so we are dead to sin. It has no power over us, unless we still believe it has and act as if we cannot defeat sin. In reality we are made alive in Christ and sin no longer has power over us. It is defeated. We are free to do the right thing.
Before it was our nature to sin. Nobody has to teach a child to say No. It comes naturally to them. But our very nature has changed. We are no longer of the world.
Now the natural thing is to do the right thing!
We are free from sin and free to do good.
Power and Authority
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead
and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Ephesians 1 v 18 - 23 (NIV)
So, Christ Jesus is above all other powers.
It is not surprising that:
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5 v 16b (NIV)
- powerful stories from the Arabic-speaking church