Satan and his demons are very real forces in the world today. But they are also forces that are under the authority of Jesus Christ. And as long as we too are living under Christ’s authority and protection, we have no reason to fear them.
With non-Christians, the goal is to use them as instruments to fulfill Satan’s plan and to blind them to the gospel and even kill them before they have a chance to trust in Christ.
But demons can also affect believers, as well. They can bring temptation, depression, and suicidal thoughts into our lives. If Satan cannot destroy your soul, he will attempt to destroy your witness and rob you of your joy in Christ.
So how can we successfully combat these very real forces that seek to oppress and destroy us? Here are four practical principles for defeating the power of demons in your life.
1. Receive Christ as your Savior (1 John 5:4-5).
The most foundational way we can thwart the plan and purpose of Satan is by turning to Jesus, trusting in Him for the forgiveness of sins. When this happens, you drive a stake through Satan’s ultimate plan for your life and are free from his rule over you.
2. Refuse to participate in any occult practices (Colossians 1:13).
Just as there are channels through which the Holy Spirit’s power comes into our lives such as Bible study, prayer, and involvement with other believers, there are also channels through which Satan’s influence comes into our life. These can include things like divination (the attempt to determine the future through astrology, horoscopes, Ouija boards, etc.), magic (attempts to use secret powers that do not come from God), and spiritism (attempts to contact those who are deceased).
3. Renounce Satan and his work (Acts 19:19).
When I speak of renouncing Satan and his demons, I am not talking about removing them from us, but removing ourselves from them. You may need to do like the residents of Ephesus in Acts 19:19 and destroy any objects that glorify Satan or demons such as board games, music, CDs, or trinkets that have a link to Satan and the occult.
4. Resist Satan (James 4:7).
The Bible speaks much more about our resisting Satan than it does about binding his power or exorcizing him. We do this by being prepared for his attacks, being aware of our weaknesses, arming ourselves (Ephesians 6), and remembering that victory over his influence in our lives is possible.
It is fascinating that both the angels in heaven and the demons on earth and under the earth recognize the authority of Christ. The only part of creation that has not yet submitted to the rule of Christ is human beings. According to Philippians 2, one day they too will be brought under the rule of Christ.
Yes, Christians can be demonized or influenced by demons. We can be tormented by demons, just like the man in Luke 8. Any area of our lives that is not under God’s control can be subject to Satan’s control.
But, we don’t have to wait until God finally casts Satan and his angels into the lake of fire to experience victory over the evil one. We can resist him and his influence now (1 John 4:4).