Have you ever wondered when you rebuke the devil in a certain of your life why he doesn’t move? That’s because you have no authority over what you have submitted to. You can’t rebuke what you have entered into league with.
“Do two men walk together unless they have made an agreement?” -Amos 3:3
The very first example we have of this is in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were given dominion over all the living things. Adam named them, and he and his wife were set to rule them. In the end, Eve ended up giving her authority away to something she was suppose to have dominion over, the serpent. The creature that was meant to be inferior, became superior. In turn, Adam had given up his authority by listening to his wife and going against what God had personally told him. Once they had sinned, they were plucked from the vine of life and they brought forth spiritual and physical death. They no longer had authority in the earth. Once that authority was lost, they would need to be redeemed and grafted back into the vine in order for their authority to be restored.
We do it all the time in our every day lives when we compromise on certain things:
- “It’s only one little white lie.”
- “I only said a couple of curse words.”
- “I am only going out for a little while to unwind at the club.”
- “I’ll only have one little drink.”
Have you ever heard the saying, “If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile”? Well, if you give the devil an inch, he will try to take your life.
So, what have you submitted to? Where have you compromised yourself? You can’t have authority from a compromised position. Just like in any battle, once your position is compromised, you have no leverage. You may be able to delay a defeat for a time, but once a crack is spotted in your defenses, you become susceptible to attack. You need back up to come and rescue you. That is where Jesus comes in.
Maybe you haven’t necessarily come into agreement with anything evil, but you aren’t doing the things that you need to do in order to grow strong spiritually. In a sense, you have come into agreement with laziness. Yet, had you been doing what you were supposed to be doing, (watching, praying, and fasting) you would be able to wield command over anything that came your way. You can’t have power just by association with the One. Power not only comes by hearing but by doing also.
Look at the story of Jesus healing the demon possessed boy in Mark 9:17-29. The father is distressed because he brought his son to Jesus’ disciples so that they might be able to heal him, but they could not. When they come upon Jesus, the man explains what the demonic spirit is doing to his son, how it makes him foam at the mouth and how he tears at himself. He also mentions that the spirit keeps his son from talking. Upon seeing Jesus, the spirit takes hold of the boy. The father pleads for help and Jesus tells him, if you will believe, then it will be done. The father proclaims that he does believe, but he needed help with his unbelief. Look at that last sentence! The father believed but he had his doubts, like we all do sometimes. Could that be why the disciples couldn’t heal the boy? Maybe they compromised their faith, possibly comparing what seemed to be possible to what they were trying to do. After Jesus cast out the demon, the disciples asked privately why they couldn’t do it. Look at a couple of things, first, they asked in private. Could it be that they knew they would be embarrassed once Jesus told them the answer, or their pride wouldn’t let them appear to be weak in front of the crowd outside? Like any child, they probably didn’t want to be admonished in front of their friends. Jesus replied that the spirit could only be removed by prayer and fasting. So here comes the second thing. What had they been doing to get ready for a moment like this? Had they been doing what needed to be done in order to strengthen their faith and power, they would have had dominion over the spirit. They knew Jesus, but they did not really know Him. You can know a person and hang out with them, yet not know truly who they are or what they are about. Look at the people who left Jesus on the mount after His sermon, they thought they knew Him but once He started getting a little too real for them with His “hard saying” and they found out who He was, they left. The disciples walked with Jesus everyday and saw His power and they wanted to be able to wield that power also. Yet, power doesn’t come by promixity, but by pursuit and preparation.
Again, what are you submitted to? What have you given your authority up to?