Determined Woman Seeking to Remain Spiritually Strong

A daily devotion for June 16th

On Binding Satan

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

Galatians 5:19-21a

The most common cause of spiritual weakness in a Christian, or a church, is a failure to recognize the flesh in its disguise of religious zeal. Like Peter flashing a sword in Gethsemane, the fleshly Christian thinks he is doing God's will and fighting God's battles for him.

Perhaps one of the most common expressions of this misguided zeal is the practice of binding Satan before Christian ministry is attempted. The Word of God gives no justification for this practice. None of the apostles utilized this approach and no Scripture commands us to practice it. It is a non-biblical performance, arising from the desire of the flesh to look committed and powerful in the service of God. Christians are told to resist the devil but never to bind him. Resisting the devil is done by putting on the whole armor of God, as Paul describes in Ephesians 6. The binding and loosing mentioned in Matthew 18:18 refers to the agreement in prayer of believers in line with the promises of God revealed in his Word.

Another form of this same error is to ascribe the manifestations of the flesh to the work of demons, which then are ostensibly cast out of an individual through a deliverance ministry. But Galatians 5:19-21 clearly tell us that lust, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, envy, immorality, and the like are not the work of demons but of the flesh. It is impossible to cast out the flesh during this lifetime; rather it is to be subdued by recognizing its evil character, refusing to yield mind or body to its impulses, and turning immediately to Jesus for the supply of his strength. Romans 6:13 clearly outlines: Do not offer any parts of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as instruments of righteousness.

It is the work of pastors and teachers to help Christians identify the flesh in themselves, by means of the Word of God, and to follow the pattern the Word describes to keep the flesh in subjection to the spirit and the individual free to live as the Lord has already made provision for him to do.

Father, help me see the manifestations of the flesh for what they are, and to fight them not with religious zeal but with the provision of your Spirit.

Life Application

How will you discern what is the work of the devil and what are the manifestations of your own flesh?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

On "Binding Satan"

Listen to Ray