Last time, I emphasized that it is not God’s intention that His intercessors live in great heaviness. If we fasten our attention on our dear Jesus, rather than focusing on the enemy, we will stay in right balance and be filled with His joy. The enemy wants to distract us from our devotion to the Lord, but the Apostle Paul warned not to be ignorant of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11). Keeping our focus where it belongs is an essential part of our battle strategy.
Luke 10:17-20 gives us Jesus’ perspective on spiritual warfare:
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject to us through your name.” And he said to them, “I watched Satan fall as lightning from heaven. See, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject unto you; rather, rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
We can be glad that the demons are subject to us in Jesus’ Name and that we have all authority (power) over the enemy. It would be a very sad thing if it were not so! But greater is our rejoicing in our relationship with Jesus and that our names are written in heaven. Jesus was cautioning his disciples to not exult in the wrong thing. The focus, again, is on light, instead of giving too much attention to the things of darkness.
Some intercessors want to “do” spiritual warfare constantly. By “doing” spiritual warfare, I mean tackling demonic forces, going head-to-head with them. This over-emphasis is not wise, and I will speak more on this subject in posts to come. There seems to be a great emphasis upon continually “binding” the enemy. However, Jesus speaks of not only binding, but also of “loosing” (releasing). Let’s look at a couple of Scriptures where He discusses this concept:
And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. – Matthew 16:19
Of a surety I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them. – Matthew 18:18-20
I won’t take the time to get into it in-depth here, but these two mentions of binding and loosing are in the context of church government. “Binding,” in Jewish culture, had to do with what the religious authorities forbade, and “loosing” with what was permitted. In both of these passages, Jesus is speaking to the apostles about apostolic government, about their authority as gatekeepers to refuse entrance to something (shutting the door) and to allow entrance (opening the door). Binding and loosing directly relate to what Jesus, in Revelation 3:7, says of Himself, “He who has the key of David [which speaks of government], He who opens and no man shuts, and shuts and no man opens.”
Many intercessors spend a great deal of time binding this, that, and the other demonic thing, but very little time in releasing the things of the Spirit of God. Yes, we need to shut some doors to the devil, but there should be at least an equal emphasis on opening the doors to the pure things of heaven. Dare I even say that we should spend more of our effort on “loosing,” or releasing God things?
Rather than constantly laying an egg about all the darkness, it is time to turn on the light! What happens when we flip on a light switch? Where does the darkness go? Contrary to the teachings of Eastern religions, light and darkness (good and evil) are not equal and opposite forces. Light is far more powerful than darkness. Darkness cannot continue in the presence of light. Thus it is also in the Kingdom of Heaven versus the kingdom of hell, for “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), and “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Yes, there are definite times when we must bind the enemy from continuing what he is doing. Jesus gives us many examples of this in His earthly ministry. There is a place for decreeing, “Thus far and no farther!” Please do not misunderstand and think I am saying we never bind anything. However, it is, again, all about where our focus lies.
Furthermore, when evil is bound or cast out, we should not leave the sphere of influence it once occupied barren. Jesus warned about the “house” that was swept clean of demons and remained empty, that those demons would return with reinforcements (Luke 11:24-26). We need to ask Father to release the Holy Spirit into people and situations. We cooperate with Him in that by decreeing release of the things of heaven into the earth.
Next time we will talk about addressing spiritual beings.
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual