We Have Authority Over Demons
Doctor Clint Arnold and Oscar Merlo, remind us that by the power of the Holy Spirit we have authority over evil. | Chak Hee Lo/THE CHIMES
Prayer has power. This might seem obvious at first, but we often forget how much authority we really hold in prayer.
In breakout session D, “Spiritual Warfare and the Holy Spirit,” Oscar Merlo discussed with Doctor Clint Arnold, the reality of spiritual warfare in our world. Arnold began by giving his definition of “Spiritual Warfare” as, simply, a worldview. Spiritual warfare exists as the understanding of the constant opposition between the very real Kingdom of God and the kingdom of evil. God constantly works towards his goals on this earth and Satan actively opposes those works through evil spirits in our world. Unfortunately, too often our culture tells us that every problem in our world is physical--even the church can be guilty of this--discouraging from the realization that demons have power and influence over us and our world too, causing us harm.
How do we fight demons that we can not see or touch? Arnold gave a great reminder here that the Holy Spirit exists as the conquering power over all powers and that Jesus told us we would receive the Holy Spirit to work through and alongside us when we choose a life of obedience to Christ. Through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling nature, we have access to his power anytime we want, as prayer remains our tool for tapping into that power.
This brought up the most unnerving question of all: Can Christians be possessed by demons? Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession…” This meaning, God has already “possessed” us with his Holy Spirit. This frees us from fear of being possessed by a demon, but the possibility of demons influencing our daily lives remains. In order to minimize the evil influence in our lives, we must abstain ourselves from the things that may open the door for demonic influence to enter our lives.
Arnold compared our hearts to our homes — there are always dirty spaces in our houses somewhere. Those dirty spaces represent our sin and they often linger because we are afraid to let Jesus come in and clean them out — we like our sin and want to keep it there as we justify it by telling ourselves that we will never let that little sin get any worse. Unfortunately, these very sins exist as the means for Satan to increase his influence in our lives. He sees those little flames of sin and pours a can of gasoline on them, exploding them into something beyond what we ever wanted them to become.
Satan constantly searches for footholds in our life, but we can be confident in the promised power of the Holy Spirit within us, to fight against these opposing forces. God did not leave us weaponless when Jesus left this earth, he instead gave us the most powerful weapon he could. By praying constantly and allowing Jesus to clean out our hearts of the vices we try to hold onto, we have authority over demons. Always continue to pray.