Satan likes to convince people that he is so powerful – more powerful than they are, and more powerful than Christ is. And do you know what? As much as we know in our heads that this isn’t true, sometimes our hearts betray us. Because sometimes we come into agreement with what he is offering to us… anxiety… fear… offense… hopelessness… despondency. And without realising it, we find ourselves agreeing with the plan of the enemy for our lives, instead of the plan of God, just by the fact that we let it sit on us… that we dwell on it… that we talk about it… and that we don’t deal with it and get rid of it. Almost as though we have no power over the emotions we feel. It’s so easy to do, and I’ve fallen prey to this strategy of the enemy many times.
Yet the life that Christ died for us to live is a life completely free from everything that is in common with the enemy. And I’ve come to realise that many of the things we tolerate in our own hearts and lives are things which did not originate from Christ. We feel hurt and instead of dealing with it immediately, we wallow in it for a bit or share how we’re feeling with a friend, and we have no idea we just came into agreement with satan. We feel anxious and afraid and think that it’s just a natural part of life, instead of realising that fear originates from only one place, and it has no part in us. We accept things we have no business accepting because that’s how everyone else around us lives, or because we just aren’t vigilant enough to realise that the source of what we’re accepting is our enemy.
We tolerate far too much! And then we wonder why we’re not seeing the power of Christ in our lives… in our homes… and in our nations.
Jesus was so powerful in His ministry, because He was able to say of the enemy, ‘He has nothing in Me’ (John 14:30 NASB). And truly he didn’t! Jesus had plenty of offers to dwell on the rejection of the people around Him… the overwhelm of the need before Him… the fear of the pain He would go through… but He didn’t. He kept His eyes on His Father, knew He was one with Him, and refused to allow satan to occupy any place in His heart.
When the Israelites were going into the promised land, they were told not to make any partnerships or covenants with the people in the land; instead they were to destroy their altars (Judges 2:2). Yet when we come into agreement with satan in our hearts in any way, that’s exactly what we’re doing – we’re allowing an enemy altar to remain in the land of our own hearts, and we worship at it. And when we do, we are coming into partnership with satan’s destructive plans for our lives, instead of God’s awesome plans for our lives.
It sounds harsh, but I’m ever so glad God revealed to me that this is what I was doing when I allowed negative emotions and words to dwell in me, because I needed the affront of seeing exactly what was going on in the spiritual, to shake me awake and make me say, “NO! Satan has not paid one ounce of his blood for me – why would I want to worship at an altar he has erected in my heart?” In the end, that’s idolatry! When I partake of fear instead of faith… when I dwell on hurt instead of love… when I take on hopelessness instead of hopefulness, I’m putting something else before my God.
This is why God gave us the powerful privilege of putting off our old man and putting on our new man (Ephesians 4:22). We get to choose! And sometimes we think this seems to hard… almost impossible. How can we choose to put off our overwhelming emotions and pains, especially when we’re in the midst of agonising circumstances? Isn’t it just too hard, Jesus! Surely you wouldn’t expect us to be able to do that – we’re not Christ!
Well no, we’re not Christ but we ARE one with Him (1 Cor 6:17), so it must be possible. How on earth are we to do it, then?!?! And actually do it, from a place of transformation in our hearts, instead of trying to force an external change which never seems to truly change what’s on the inside? How do we change our ‘default’ setting? There is only one way:
By dwelling on the reality of Christ in us and our oneness with Him.
I was going to say, ‘by changing the way we see ourselves’. But Holy Spirit prompted me that this is not the case. It’s not actually about looking at ourselves and who Christ has made us. Because when we do that, we’re still seeing ourselves as separate from Him. It’s about meditating on the fact that our spirits are one with His Spirit and our life is one with His Life, until our identity is simply Christ in us. When we do, we will find two things will happen:
1. We will instantly recognise what is not of God. We will be vigilant, sober, and know where our enemy is trying to come in.
2. We will instantly deal with our enemy, so that he never has a place in us.
I have a beautiful friend, whose vigilant faith helped me to stop going around the mountain in this area. I’d been walking strongly with the Lord in the midst of unthinkably hard circumstances. The circumstances had been worsening for many years. At this particular point, I’d been feeling really strong for a couple of months… then one day, I let it all get on top of me, starting looking at the circumstances again instead of my God, and I felt the hopelessness of the situation start to creep in. Of course, it was this very day, when I was feeling a bit teary and a bit sorry for myself, that my dear friend phoned me. She knew my situation. She knew how difficult it was and she had compassion, love and care for me. She also knew that for me to feel the way I was feeling, I had come into agreement with the enemy, and she knew how dangerous that was for me and that it had to STOP! So with deep love and firmness, she told me I had to stop listening to satan and she said, “The moment you even get a whiff of him, kick him to the curb! Don’t give him even a moment! Don’t give him a millimeter!” And I realised that she was right! And it was exactly what I needed to hear, to set me free! I felt like I woke up out of a daze, like I’d been slapped out of a fog, and it was my very life satan was messing with and I had the power to kick him out. So I did!!!
Did I have many good reasons to be a bit emotionally down? Yes, I sure did! But would that help me ever to walk in the victory over these very circumstances that Christ died to bring me? Absolutely not! I realised that sometimes I just wanted to melt down and wallow in a bit of self pity, but that to do so meant I was taking my eyes off my Papa, taking my identity out of oneness, and taking my life off track. I had to speak to my soul, just like David spoke to his, and tell it to come into alignment with the spirit of Christ within me. I had to exercise the self-discipline given to me by the fruit of the spirit and make a decision. Was I going to live in my old man or my new man? Was I going to come into agreement with my enemy or my saviour?
And this is a decision we all need to make. It sounds harsh, but it’s actually life-savingly compassionate. Sometimes it feels as though the body of Christ stays in perpetual infancy because we won’t bring ourselves to account and refuse to act in childish ways any more. We evaluate what we’re going through just like the world does – and then we find that we live much like the world does!
So how do we stop this cycle? Because force won’t do it. A head revelation won’t cut it. What we need is a heart revelation of our oneness with Christ and His power within us. And there’s probably no better place to find that than in Romans 6. It’s here that we discover that we were actually crucified with Him and that we died to everything satan wants to offer us. EVERYTHING! We also discover that we were resurrected with Him and that the fullness of His resurrection life – His dunamis power (the same power which raised Jesus from the dead) – lives in us.
Romans 6:5 (TPT) For since we are permanently grafted into him * to experience a death like his, then we are permanently grafted into him to experience a resurrection like his and the new life that it imparts.
* The footnote for v5 says, ‘if we have become grown together as one with him.’ Our permanent grafting into Him is our oneness with Him. We were one with Him when He died on the cross, and we were one with Him when He rose again. This is true in our spirits (which are perfect and united with His) right now, today and every day.
Romans 6:6 (TPT) Could it be any clearer that our former identity is now and forever deprived of its power? For we were co-crucified with him to dismantle the stronghold of sin within us, so that we would not continue to live one moment longer submitted to sin’s power.
Just like my friend said – We don’t have to give him a moment any more! We don’t have to live one moment longer submitted to the enemy instead of to our Saviour!
The fact that we were co-crucified with Him means that we don’t have to crucify ourselves. We just have to live in the truth of the fact that it’s already happened. It’s already done. Our old man was crucified with Him and no longer has any power over us. And because of this, the stronghold (the altars) of sin in our hearts that we’ve been sitting at, no longer have any power within us. We can no longer truthfully say that we can’t help ourselves, that our emotions overwhelm us. The only time we are overwhelmed by our emotions is when we’re believing a lie – that we aren’t one with Him and that we can’t take it.
Romans 6:10 – 13 (TPT) For by his sacrifice he died to sin’s power once and for all, but he now lives continuously for the Father’s pleasure. So let it be the same way with you! Since you are now joined with him, you must continually view yourselves as dead and unresponsive to sin’s appeal while living daily for God’s pleasure in union with Jesus, the Anointed One. Sin is a dethroned monarch; so you must no longer give it an opportunity to rule over your life, controlling how you live and compelling you to obey its desires and cravings. So then, refuse to answer its call to surrender your body as a tool for wickedness. Instead, passionately answer God’s call to keep yielding your body to him as one who has now experienced resurrection life! You live now for his pleasure, ready to be used for his noble purpose.
What would happen if we actually believed what we read in Romans 6?!?! What would happen if we actually meditated on the scriptures of this chapter each day (and anywhere else Holy Spirit leads us to), and if we reached for them again each time we felt tempted by our emotions to betray our Saviour? Do we think it might get down into our hearts? Do you think we might come to the place where our identity of Christ in us becomes far more real to us than anything offered to us by our enemy? Do we think there might be the power inherit within these scriptures, to fulfil them?
I challenge you with this. Meditate on Romans 6 every day (especially in The Passion Translation – available free on the YouVersion app). See yourself in the scriptures and keep meditating UNTIL you find that you believe them in your heart… UNTIL you find that you’re recognising the first whiff of the enemy when he comes… and UNTIL your immediate reaction is to kick him to the curb!
When you do, you’ll be able to say, as Jesus did, ‘The enemy has nothing in me.’