Friday, June 04, 2010

Prayer and Authority (17) Authority to Resist

Authority is essential for resisting evil. This leads to a fourth principle.

We can only resist the forces of evil effectively
in situations where we have authority
We should choose our targets carefully. We can only resist evil powers effectively in places where we have legitimate authority.

Praying against big spirits in places where we do not have authority can lead to a backlash. If these spirits strike back, they can do great harm to a vulnerable Christian. I read once about a college student who attempted to bind the spiritual powers that she had seen in a vision sitting on the college administrative building. Soon after engaging in spiritual warfare, she was attacked with depression and fatigue and had to leave the college.

The problem was that the student had very little authority in the college. The administrators of the college had much more authority. The principalities active in the college were there because the college authorities, probably unwittingly, had given them permission to be there. The Christian student did not have authority to eject these spirits, because they were there with the permission of the college authorities.

Worse still, by enrolling in the college, the student had submitted to the college authorities. This meant she was also submitting to the spiritual powers that controlled the college, making her vulnerable to their attacks. They were able to attack her depression and she was powerless to resist, because she was standing alone. We should be careful about prodding principalities in places where we do not have authority. We might just make things worse.

This student did not understand the limits on her authority. She had no authority in the college, but she did have authority over who own life. She should have looked for some other Christians, who understood what was going on. By submitting to each other, they would have given each other authority in their lives. This would enable them to stand together and resist the principalities active in their college. The students would not have sufficient authority to evict them, but they would be able to protect themselves by resisting their influence.

This is how a group of Christians can function in a hostile world. By submitting to a few Christians they trust and standing together to resist evil, they can create an island of safety in a dangerous world. As more people follow this example, the spheres of peace will expand, and the forces of evil will be gradually squeezed out because they have no place to stand.

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