So spiritual warfare exists. There are things working against us in the world - powers of darkness, forces of evil, scary sounding stuff. While there are battles that must be fought daily in prayer, the war against darkness was won over 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross and pulled a fast one on satan and rose from the dead three days later. It is a story of grace and love and mercy, and it is also an epic display of the might and power Christ possesses. His show of power doesn’t end there though. Jesus takes this whole resurrection power thing to the next level when He sends us the Holy Spirit so that we can have access to the exact same power that brought Him back from the grave.
Paul writes in Ephesians 1:18-21 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come.”
Paul’s cry is that we would live out of the truth that we are not powerless in the face of any trial that we face. We are not powerless to anxiety. We are not powerless to fear. We are not powerless to circumstances or trials. We have the same power that Jesus used to heal the sick, and calm the storm and bring Lazarus back from the dead. This is the power Christ died for you to have. No matter how desperate or dark a present circumstance, or how deeply entangled in a sin struggle you may be, the thought “you are powerless to fight this” is a lie straight out of the pit of hell. You may not have control over a situation, but Christ didn’t die for you to be in control, He died for you to have the power to fight back against the enemy. So fight like you’ve already won because your God has already declared you victorious.
Paul again references the power we have in Christ in Romans 8:37. He claims that “we more than conquerors through Him who loved us,” meaning that the enemy will do his level best to keep us from the fullness of God by trying to trap us in sin or destructive thought patterns or circumstances, but we don’t have to take it. We have Christ and His power dwelling in us, ready to be used as soon as we call out to it.
So amazing, we have this power in us, but why do we sometimes feel so powerless? Why do we feel defeated when we are supposed to be more than a conquerors, Paul?
I think Paul would say that our power is not determined by how powerful we feel. Our emotions do not dictate how powerful we are. We just are powerful because that is the identity we have as children of God. So when school is going poorly, or relationships are hard, or you lose someone close to you, take heart in the fact that you don’t have to feel powerful, you just have to exercise the power that has been given to you in faith.
So practically speaking, what does putting this power to use look like?
It means putting on the armor of God that Paul speaks about in Ephesians 6: 13-17
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground...stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The way we fight back is to immerse ourselves in truth from the Word, stand boldly on his promises, and pray ceaselessly to our Father who will move in power in response to our cries.
So take heart. Hold fast. Be courageous. Exercise the authority and power Christ has given you.
Author | Katie Pilson