Welcome to the final part of our blog series on demons. After discussing their origins and what they do in the world, we now must explore the question What should we do? We’ll take all of our answers out of Ephesians.
1. Remember Who You Are
. . . according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. . . . [E]ven when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:19b-21; 2:5-7)
If you have been united to Christ through faith, you are coheirs with him (Romans 8:17). You share his throne (Revelation 3:21). And his throne is “far above” all the powers of the demonic realm. While they may try to make your earthly life miserable, there is no evil power that will ultimately be victorious over you; Jesus has already won the victory.
But here are some words from Jesus to always keep in mind: Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:19-20).
2. Remember Who You’re Fighting
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.(Ephesians 2:12)
There is a lot of gossip about people who might be deceived by demons or even possessed by demons. Many false teachers are denounced as demonic. But we have to remember that any human who is caught up in demonic activity is suffering. We must have compassion on them and desire above all else to see them delivered. Our fight is not with them but with the evil spirits who are lying to them and oppressing them. Now, we know that angels can take human form, but this is no excuse for us to go off the handle and to call down fire on them (Luke 9:54-55). They may be enemies currently, but our hope must be for their salvation.
3. Remember Your Mission
. . . making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. . . . To me, [Paul], though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:9-10; 2:8-10)
God’s grand plan is to unite all things in Christ, and this plan is displayed to the evil powers through the unity of the church. As we saw last blog, the devil and his demons are hard at work trying to sow discord into the church. One of the primary callings of our mission is to maintain unity in the church through pursuing radical love of one another so that the demons will know that their time is running short and God’s kingdom is at hand.
But this is also a unity built on the truth (Ephesians 4:13), and demonic deception can sound a lot like truth. We must continue to train and be trained in Scripture so that we will be able to easily spot deception.
4. Remember Your Armor
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints . . . (Ephesians 6:13-18a)
We are not going to talk specifically about each piece of armor, as this will probably be discussed in the sermon coming up in a couple weeks. But we can note a couple things here: 1) This armor is God’s own armor (Isaiah 11:5; 59:17). It is his armor that he has bestowed on his body (the Church). 2) We must stand firm against all attacks by using the armor given us. 3) The word of God is our sword, and just like Jesus waged war against the devil with Scripture in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), we can use the word of God as our offensive weapon. (Remember, it is the word of the gospel that God uses to save people out of the devil’s power.) 4) Prayer is to be done at all times, for ourselves and for others. And 5) we are to keep awake to the schemes of the devil around us and persevere through his numerous attacks.
In conclusion, the devil and demons can be scary. But because of our position with Christ, we are not called to be scared of the evil powers but to stay on guard against their attacks. And honestly, it is not the attacks that inflict pain that we are to stay on guard for. There is not really much we can do about that and must rest in the Lord during those times. It’s the attacks of temptation and deception that draw us away from Christ that are the ones we must arm ourselves for.
-Alex Nolette (Equip Coordinator)