Overcoming the devil

arm-wrestling-567950_640Job 26:13: By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

You may think the phrase “fleeing serpent” used by Job is an exercise of the excited poetic mind of the man in the grind of difficulty.

But the bible reveals the identity of the serpent. It is the devil.

The devil thought he was something. He wanted to upstage God, but he discovered that was impossible, and he was chased from heaven (Isaiah 14:7-17, Ezekiel 28:12-16). That was where he got that appellation as the fleeing serpent (serpent because of his reputation for being cunning). Maybe Job was putting words to what happened at that time.

That he is fleeing means he is fearful. If you are really bold, you will stand. When Jesus confronted demons while he was on earth, it was not a contest. They were afraid, they screamed, they protested, but they knew they met somebody who was more than their match, way out their league.

John wrote that Jesus has come to destroy the works of the devil (1John 3:8). Peter said that Jesus came in the power of the Holy Spirit to free those who are oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). He came on the mission to crush the head of the devil (Genesis 3).

Jesus said that he saw the devil fall like lightning from heaven (Luke 10:18). That may be related to the hand of God piercing the fleeing serpent in the battle in heaven that brought the devil down to earth.

But Jesus was called to deal the final blow to the devil via his incarnation. There was a battle in heaven, and the devil found a place on earth. God brought the battle to the devil’s home front, to finally undo him.

The bible says that had the princes of this world know what will happen after (1Corinthians 2:8), they will not have crucified the Lord of glory because through death Jesus destroyed the one who has the power of death (Hebrews 2:14). Through death he undid the hold of death on us.

Jesus said we shall cast out devil (Mark 16:15-18), and David wrote that strangers hear of him and fade away from their hiding places (Psalm 18:43-45). Demons like to hide in people, but when Jesus manifested, like fire smokes out snakes, they screamed and they were cast out.

Paul had an opportunity to shake a serpent into the fire. While on a journey to Rome, he had a stop in a place, set up a fire, and that smoked out the snake which was around and it fastened itself on the hand of Paul who summarily shook it to the fire (Acts 28:1-5). That gives the picture of the evil spirits and how with the fire of the Holy Spirit, they are pushed out of influence in the life of people.

Isaiah prayed that God should come down, and rend the heavens so that the mountains may flow at his presence, since his presence is light, whatever represents darkness flees from him.

The bible says that when the enemy comes like a flood, God raises up a standard against it (Isaiah 59:19), pushing back at the enemy’s efforts to make an impact.

Jesus said that he will build his church and the gates of hell will not overcome (Matthew 16:18). Actually the opposite will happen, the church will sack the gates of hell; she will close them, and open the gates of heaven through the authority of Jesus Christ.

James said we should resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). He is the fleeing serpent. He has the ability to flee. His is darkness and cannot stand light, he is wax and cannot stand the heat. He cannot resist the name of Jesus.

Jesus has a name above all names and at his name every knee bows, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:5-11). Can you imagine how embarrassing that will be to the devil, who had boasted of dethroning God? So the better option is to flee, get out of the vicinity of the name of Jesus.

The love, light and life of Jesus are counter to the hate, darkness and death that the devil brings.

Love vs hate

When we allowed bitterness, hate, envy, anger, vengeance to develop in our heart, we limit our ability to walk in love.

To walk in God is to walk in love and it is in that state that we overcome the world. John wrote that greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world (1John 4:4, 5:4), the God in us is the God of love, and through love we overcome.

Love empowers, while hate puts us bondage, it is a manifestation of the works of the flesh which is what the devil feeds on.

Remember that the curse on man the in the book of Genesis was that he will feed on the dust which is typified by the works of the flesh. The primary fruit of the fruit of the Spirit is love which overcomes hate, the work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-26). The bible says that if you love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, you will be pouring coals of fire on them (Romans 12:20).

Light vs darkness

To be in the light is to know the truth, and the word of God in you sets you apart, becomes the light in us, gives us a sense of direction.

The psalmist wrote that God’s word is light to his feet, and lamp to his path (Psalm 119:9, 11). Jesus said we will experience freedom by the word that we will know, his truth we will come into (John 8).

The word of God confers blessing to counter the curses of the devil. When we stand in the word in the promises of God we cannot at the same time stand in curses (Galatians 3:13-14). Jesus the word has taken our curses, so that we have is blessing from him.

Life vs death

In Christ death is swallowed up of life (1Corinthians 15:50-57, 2Corinthians 5:1-5). Death is limiting, life is liberating. All the oppression of the devil has to do with limitation, the curtailing of the native and supernatural ability God had built into man. Life is about full spiritual, mental and emotional and physical functioning.

John and Peter raised a man lame from his mother’s womb and so was limited many years (Acts 3). Through healing, the life of God was manifested in the man, to reverse the death he had been experiencing.

The bible says that Jesus went about doing good and healing those who are oppressed by the devil. Every oppression is limiting, to oppress is to press down, be supressed in any and every way.

The life of God in you is not just to make you feel good, but to lift you to the height of fulfilment. The life of God manifests as healing and Jesus is the sun of righteousness whose main expression is healing (Malachi 4:1-3), which means reversal of ill.

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