Right-Sizing the Devil

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which he lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight he made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his kind intention which he purposed in him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of his will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of his glory. In him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

And God raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:6-10)

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, he made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through him. (Colossians 2:13-15)
It is vital that we understand that we are in a spiritual battle and how that battle works. Otherwise, we are likely to become a casualty and be ‘neutralised’ in our walk with Jesus. On the other hand, if we really know who we are in Christ, we discover that we are already well equipped to win that battle!

That’s why meditating on today’s Bible readings is so helpful. As you read them, ask yourself two questions: “Where is Jesus right now in relation to Satan?” and “Where am I right now in relation to Satan?”

Satan has worked hard throughout human history to try to get us to fear him. The Bible says that “the whole world lies in his power” (1 John 5:19), and through this influence he has shaped movies and books and images and campfire stories and music, which all appear to show him as an equal-but-opposite power to God. But the truth is that he is the father of lies – he is a created being just like we are. He is nothing at all like God. He can’t read your mind, he can only be in one place at one time, and he can only operate within the boundaries that God sets him. That’s why Martin Luther referred to him as “the Lord’s Satan”. He may have a ferocious bark, but he is like a dog on a leash!

The devil would love you to believe that he has enormous power and authority over you. But to compare Satan’s power with God’s is like comparing an ant to an atomic bomb – and even that comparison doesn’t do it justice! At the cross, Jesus completely disarmed Satan. Not only that, as children of God bought by the blood of Christ, we have been raised up with Christ to sit in heavenly places with him. Because God has granted us to share in his Son’s position of authority in heaven, we are actually far above Satan and all demonic powers. He is scared of us!

If you haven’t heard this teaching on who the devil is before, it can be really hard to believe. If you find yourself fearing him, or struggling to believe that in Christ you now have authority over him and his demons, then read these verses out loud each day this week. As you speak out the truth of these Scriptures, hell will tremble before you!
  1. Do you tend to live your life as one who has authority over the devil, or as one who is afraid of the devil?
  2. What difference does it make to our daily lives if we believe these truths from Ephesians 1-2 and Colossians 2?
  3. When did you last take authority over the devil and his demons, making use of the authority that God has given you?
Father God, I thank you that the devil is a mere creature. He is no match for you, the Creator. Forgive me for all that times that I have acted as if the spiritual battle is a clash between equals, rather than the last-ditch efforts of a defeated foe. Thank you that you have given me authority over the devil. Help me to use that authority, I pray. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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