Should Christians Rebuke The Devil?
Some Christians believe they not only have the authority to rebuke Satan, but that they should be rebuking him right and left. There is no biblical basis for such a belief. Unlike God, Satan is not omnipresent. He can only be in one place at one time. So, when believers find themselves under spiritual attack, it is highly unlikely the devil is personally behind the harassment. Of course he does have a legion of demons ready to do his bidding.
As Christians, we do need to be aware of the presence of evil. We are in a fight, a spiritual battle against principalities and powers of darkness. And while we struggle to stand firm in our faith, we must realize that our enemies are not merely human ideas, but real forces that come from the powers of darkness. The Bible says, ” For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV).
Yes, God has allowed Satan significant amounts of power and influence over the earth, at least for now, but always within God’s sovereign control. Believers do not get immunity from enemy assaults, but we do have access to the Father. Every person who has a personal relationship with God has His inherent strength within. We have been given every blessing in the heavenly realm where our unseen battle takes place.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 (NIV)
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to 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. And God placed things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:18-23 (NIV)
We need to make use of our spiritual resources and the first step is to open our spiritual eyes! Just as Elisha’s servant was encouraged to see the heavenly army filled with chariots of fire, we must realize our battle too is won. Jesus conquered sin and death.
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?’ the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV)
With this in mind, we need not shake in our boots when spiritual attacks come our way. We have spiritual armor to don. The armor has been provided but the responsibility of putting it on and utilizing it is ours. With it we are to stand firm, even advance. But how?
The armor consists of protective gear, including the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sandals of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation. But it also includes a sword. The Sword is God’s living word and it is not only for defense purposes. No, it can and should be used for assaults and attacks against the enemy to gain or take back spiritual ground.
We are encouraged to learn and meditate upon the Word of God. We use Scripture to resist the devil. To resist means to set against, withstand, to actively oppose, to fight back against (Strong’s Greek) We are promised that if we submit to God and resist the devil, he must flee from our presence.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 (NKJV)
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
When the devil tempted Jesus in the dessert for 40 days and 40 nights, Jesus answered the devil’s temptations with Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). We can do the same. There is power in the Word for it is truth and light. It will expose the lies of the enemy.
So why not rebuke the devil personally? Maybe it is because God wants us to call upon Him for assistance. Also, why give the devil any unnecessary attention and credit? Why hold a conversation with the father of all lies? Let the Lord sort it out. We have been instructed to resist the devil and promised that our obedience to do so will result in his flight. But when we stand in the gap for others, in prayer, we can also ask Jesus to rebuke the devil. The Lord rebuked Satan in Zechariah 3:2. I suggest it is His place to do so, not ours.
“And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Zechariah 3:2 (NKJV)
In response to Satan’s attacks, a Christian should appeal to Christ. Instead of focusing on defeating the devil, we should focus on following Christ (Hebrews 12:2) and trust that He will defeat the forces of evil.
It is not necessary for a Christian to rebuke Satan because God has given us His full armor to stand against evil (see Ephesians 6:10-18). The most effective weapons we have against the devil are our faith, wisdom, and knowledge about God and His Word.
God Almighty, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit,
I praise You for the wondrous mystery of the Holy Trinity. I thank You for Your saving grace, love, and guidance. Just as You removed Joshua’s filthy garments and dressed him in clean clothes, remove my filthy rags of sin and dress me in white. For I long to commune with You and I know that sin separates man from Your mercy seat and Divine power.
The devil has been prowling around those I love and his henchmen are attacking my peace of mind. I need Your help! I call upon Your power and ask that You act on my behalf. James 4:7 says that if I submit to God and resist the devil he must flee from my presence. But I need more help. I’m standing in the gap for my family and friends.
Please rebuke satan and all the powers of darkness who are causing chaos and unrest in their lives. Where there is deceit, confusion, and anxiety replace it with Your truth, peace, joy, and hope. Bind the enemy and remove the scales covering their eyes so that they can see the truth and the light. May the God of hope fill those I love with joy and peace. Help them to trust in You, so that they overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Ro. 15:13)
I also need hope right now because the evil one is trying to convince me that people and situations will remain the same, that they impossible to fix and change. But I know the devil is the father of all lies (John 8:44) and that with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26).
So, in the name of Jesus, the name above every name (Phil. 2:9,) tear down the strongholds in my life and in the lives of ______________________. Restore them to righteousness. Draw them with your love. Where there is pride, remove it and replace it with humility. For Obadiah 1:3 tells us the pride of our hearts is what deceives us and Psalm 10:4 explains that it is because of pride that the wicked man does not seek Him; that in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
You are the God of Peace! Grant me tranquility and peace of mind as I patiently wait for You to act on my behalf and in the lives of those I love. Praise the name of Jesus. “No one is like you, LORD; You are great, and Your name is mighty in power.” Jeremiah 10:6
Prayer inspired by Christ written by Cheryl Zelenka