Why are we anxious or afraid? The reason is simple; we are afraid that for some definite or unknown reasons, our expectations from life may not be fulfilled. We are also afraid that we might die suddenly due to some calamities. We also fear for the lives of our children and loved ones and wonder whether they would fulfill God’s purpose or not. Truly, the anxiety is unending. We continue to revolve around the circle of known and unknown fears. Why is this so? The reason we feel this way is because we are constantly influenced by cosmic forces of good and evil. Although we cannot destroy the forces of evil (Rev. 20:10), we can at least overcome them by using the Master’s techniques.
When God created the world, He also created cosmic forces which we now refer to as powers and principalities. God also created the one who became the devil. Therefore, negative or evil forces as well as the forces of good are all created by God. The Bible says;
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him”. (Colossians 1:16)
Experience has shown that it is not possible to go through life without experiencing one form of challenge or the other. So many have gone through traumatic experiences caused by accident, loss of loved ones, managing children delinquencies, separations, addictions, diseases, emotional imbalance psychological breakdown and so many other maladies too numerous to mention. At some points in our lives, we are truly happy with our families, love life, jobs, other achievements, and could also extend benevolence to those around us. But in most periods of our lives, we actually find ourselves either struggling to acquire the basic things of life or totally unable to achieve our dreams and set goals. The reason for these unstable conditions of ups and downs is traceable to the constant influence of the forces of good and evil in our lives; both struggling to gain control of our lives.
The forces of evil enter into us and take dominion of our lives through our EGO, while the forces of good enter into us through the voice of our conscience. While the Conscience cries for justice, forgiveness and love at all times, the Ego craves for vengeance, not wanting to forgive, envious and jealous, full of resentment, not giving to justice etc. The problem with us is that we listen more to the voice of the ego or the dragon and when we listen to the loud voice of the ego, we make mistakes leading us into trouble or life without accomplishments. This is why Paul says:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”. (Ephesians 6:12)
The questions have been asked repeatedly; “Why did God create the evil forces or the devil himself and for how long will humanity suffer death, deprivation; injustice; killings of innocent people; destruction of properties; suffer chaos and anarchy”?
To answer the above question, we must first understand three basic facts: First, we must understand that LIFE IS COMPLEX AND LIVING IS A DIFFICULT PROCESS. Secondly, we must understand that, it is not every good thing we acquire that is truly good for us. Thirdly, we must also understand that it is not every seemingly bad experience that is meant to punish us or pull us back.LIFE IS A DIFFICULT PROCESS
It is true that God wants us to prosper and to take dominion of the earth, but He has not completely removed challenges from our path to achievement or spiritual growth. The Master himself acknowledges that challenges are bound to come our way and so He counsels us in advance when he says in John 16:33: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Just as the path of the rose flower is lined with thorns, so also is living a fulfilled life lined with challenges. Test and trials are the natural and self-employed training that God has instituted in order to bring us to a fuller understanding of His ways and to make us realize our destinies and full potentials. If we are obedient to God’s commands and persevere, he will give us the power to control and conquer all these powers and principalities. The bible tells us that:
“ Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him”. (James 1:12)
The importance of tests and trials cannot be overemphasized. Tests and trials help to build our faith (James 1:2-6; 1 Peter 1:6-7) and at the end of the day, we have an opportunity to give testimony of God’s faithfulness; Trials helps to strengthen us and makes us to develop the spirit of endurance (Romans 5:3-4) . Further to that, the bible says:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to everyone generously without a rebuke, and it will be given to him”. (James 1:2-5)
Trials help to reveal sin in our lives. We should never deceive ourselves and try to hide our sins from God, which is impossible. Definitely, we receive punishment regularly when we transgressed the laws of God. (Psalm 38:1-11; Psalm 38:17-22; Psalm 40:12-13); Trials increase our spiritual knowledge and they help us learn God’s laws and decrees (Psalm 119:71-77). Trials produce hope through endurance and with hope fixed on Jesus Christ; we are never put to shame. (Romans 5:3-5). Therefore, tests and trials become a key factor for the nurturing and development of the human personality. Powers and principalities play a key role in the administration of the necessary tests and trials we must undergo in order for us to grow in spirit and to master life generally. When our spirit is being built and empowered, temptations would come our way but we are usually given the abilities to endure them. The bible says:
“So the one who thinks he is standing firm should be careful not to fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it”. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)
NOT EVERY GOOD THING IS GOOD FOR US.
It is very important to understand that, it is not every good thing we experience that is good for us. Some seemingly beautiful things are attracted to us in order to punish our wrongdoing or to correct a bad habit in us. Some come to us as a result of negative projections from other entities or persons. Such things eventually bring sorrow to us on a very short run. For instance, when we manipulate situations or natural forces in order to receive undue advantage or receive what ordinarily should not come to us, we are basically doing our will, and not allowing the will of God to prevail in our lives. As humans, we have a limited understanding about the things of the spirit, and only God can PERFECTLY “declare the end from the beginning and from ancient time things not yet done” (Isaiah 46:10) God is the one who blesses without adding sorrow (Proverbs 10:22) . It is therefore very important that we commit all our ways into the hands of God and ask for His WILL to prevail over our lives. We must learn to rely on God and put our trust in Him when making important decisions in our lives. When we are assured that God rules over our receiving and giving, we are consequently covered by His living presence.
NOT EVERY NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE IS BAD FOR US
On the other hand, it is not every negative experience that is bad. Some negative experiences could be a way to distract us from grievous danger or death, for God is an expert in bringing something good from a bad situation. It is not that the bad situation is good, but what God has done resulting from the bad situation is what truly transmutes and uplifts us. The bible says:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:28-29)
WHY GOD CREATED EVIL FORCES AND THE DEVIL.
Everything that God created is for His pleasure (Revelation 4:11). To restate Colossians 1:16, God created all powers and principalities, and “all things have been created through Him and for Him”. Knowing this basic truth will enable us to go through life with ease and the question of when suffering, injustice, calamities, anarchies, disease, ignorance and poverty will cease to exist is then easily answered. Suffering as a saint is God’s means of drawing us into closer communion with Him. In suffering, we are enabled to know God as we would not otherwise know Him. If it were not for sin, we could not know the grace of God manifested in the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ. If it were not for Satan, and for all those who oppose our God, we would not know His omniscience (all-knowing) and omnipotence (all-powerful). If it were not for suffering, we would not know God’s mercy, compassion, and comfort. Suffering is a divinely appointed means of knowing God intimately.
Life is a personal experience. Despite the truth regarding the existence of these powers and principalities or the devil, not everyone is affected by their existence. By this, I mean that while some persons have been able to put a check and control on these negative forces, others are not so lucky. It is about putting the devil to check and controlling these powers and principalities and reducing their effects upon our lives that I now address you.
THE MASTER’S TECHNIQUES TO CHECK THE DAEMONS, POWERS AND PRINCIPALITIES
Notwithstanding the fact that humanity is constantly influenced and shattered by the devil, powers and principalities, the good news is that the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His redeeming power of Grace have set us free. The salvation that we require lies in our understanding of the Master’s techniques and applying them to our lives. God has already made a way for each and every one of us to experience His faithfulness. Several years ago, Pastor Kenneth Copeland sang a song, titled; “My God has made a way for me.” Although the literal meaning of this song was very clear to me, I never really experienced the true meaning until later in life when those things I thought were impossible started to materialize by His Grace. At that point, I realized the wisdom and the understanding in the scripture which says;
“…Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O Great Mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”(Zechariah 4:6 - 7)
Flowing from the above scripture, I understand that in order to control all powers and principalities, we must unlock the power of Grace in us. The Grace of God through Jesus Christ links us with the Holy Spirit who in turn releases the Word of God upon our lives. The Word of God is Spirit and Life and God created all things by His Word. It is this Word that took flesh in Jesus Christ. In Jesus, the totality of the divinity of God is manifested (Colossians 2:9). This is why Jesus says; “I and my father are one” (John 10:30).
Understanding the teachings of Jesus and being able to unlock the power of His Grace has never been easy. The reason being that more attention is focused on the church and the Pastor, rather than Jesus Christ. The Grace of God through Jesus Christ is a mystery and may only be understood through righteousness and the gift of faith. To unlock the power of Grace, we must be ready to follow Jesus, obey all his commands and lean on His righteousness. When I scanned through the scriptures, I counted over fifty commands made by Jesus all of which have to do with morality, tolerance, forgiveness, Love, worship, humility, Godliness etc. Keeping these commands is not an easy task. Jesus says all these commands must be obeyed as a measure of our love for Him and to make us good disciples. Jesus says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Furthermore, the Master says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”(Matthew 5:48).
For so many years I tried to live the Christian life but found myself failing miserably. As soon as I repent of one sin, I see myself falling into another. This makes me feel inadequate. I knew that we were supposed to try to be like Jesus or even try to be perfect like God but I found that this is not quite possible. In my perplexity, I started to inquire and to think about the way out. I discovered through reading the scriptures that the power to overcome sin and to break the barriers of powers and principalities is in the ETERNAL WORD OF GOD, the Christ essence of God which took flesh in Jesus Christ. Please note carefully that The WORD OF GOD is spirit, but it took flesh or became human in JESUS CHRIST. This word of God is in all men, but not everyone is alive to His living presence. To overcome the power of sin and to unlock the power of Grace to do all things, we must understand the hidden mystery of the word of God or the Christ spirit in us, but this is not easily revealed.
In Colossians 1:26-27, the Bible says: "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory"
What a wondrous revelation, that the secret of life is Christ IN us! This is our hope, because our lives are no longer dependent on our struggles or striving but rather on CHRIST that dwells in each of us. In 1 Peter 1:4 we read further:
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
The divine nature of Jesus Christ is THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD which is already in you as spirit– “... Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27). Therefore, when we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, we are made to partake of His very nature which lies deep in our souls!
Further to this, the scripture says we have been filled with the Christ spirit. It is therefore true that the Christ essence of God is in us. In Colossians 2:9-10, the Bible says; “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority”. This is a further confirmation that Christ spirit dwells in us. From this verse, it is also very clear that the power and authority of Jesus Christ over powers and principalities is not in doubt because “He is the head of all rule and authority”. What is doubtful, however, is the level of our belief regarding that fact.
In Matthew 28:18, Jesus says: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”. This means the influence of the Master is all over the universe, without any exemption.
Therefore, in order that the Master’s techniques may work for us, you have to:
1. Believe that Jesus Christ is the head of all powers and principalities.
2. You have to follow the Master’s commands. Obedient to Jesus commands will reduce sinful disposition which often invite the wrath of God upon us through the principalities and powers.
3. Believe in the power and the gift of Grace – Everything that Jesus suffered has a face in our life. He is the author of the principles of life of abundance.
4. Increase your faith by continuously confessing and professing the scriptures to yourself and also activate faith through continuous trust in God. When our faith is small, the devil can easily rip it off, and then stand aloft and laugh at us. Therefore, at all times, believe that you have what you have prayed for and do not be moved by what you see or feel on the outside. The mystery of Grace is not that you have what you prayed for all the time, but in being truly happy without the exact things we hoped for. With Grace, our spirit is quickened and made to come alive! A grace- filled spirit creates peace, and contentment. If we pray for the things we cannot accomplish through our means, we are given other things which are equally very good for our status in life; those things come with utmost peace, satisfaction, fulfilling and gratifying. That is the power of grace. Abilities to turn around our lust into pure desires followed by contentment.