Have You Told the Devil Who You Are?
Have You Told the Devil Who You Are?
Acts 22:25, 29 (NASB)
25 And when they stretched him out with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?”… 29 Therefore those who were about to examine him immediately let go of him; and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had put him in chains.
In the above passage, Paul was about to be scourged by the Romans; it was one of the most painful punishments of the time. Yet, with one question Paul brought the execution of that punishment to a screeching halt. The question, “Is it lawful…?” cancelled the punishment he was about to receive and left the commander of the most powerful military force of the time “afraid” and unwilling to carry out the scourging against Paul.
There is a spiritual parallel to this situation that is vital for believers to understand. Just as Paul had certain rights because he was a citizen of Rome, believers have certain rights because they are citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20). We have been “rescued out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of His dear Son…” (Colossians 1:13). Those who have made Jesus the Savior and Lord of their lives have been given the right to operate according to the Kingdom of God and not according the system of this world which is under the influence of the devil. This world is operating under a curse and the devil is more than happy to help enforce that curse in the lives of both believers and non-believers. He does that most effectively with believers when they do not know their citizenship rights.
So what are some of the citizenship rights of believers?
- Health -1 Peter 2:24 (NLT)He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.
- Peace – Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Protection – Psalm 91:9–11 (NKJV) Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
- Deliverance/Long Life – Psalm 91:14–16 (NKJV) “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
- Prosperity – Deuteronomy 8:18 (NLT) Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant He confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
How do we activate those citizenship rights? We activate them when we receive them by faith and confess them until they become anchored in our hearts. When we say what God says about us in His Word, we are submitting ourselves to God and according to the Word the devil must flee (James 4:7).
The next time the devil comes and begins to make accusations and threats, turn the tables on him by asking this question, “Is it lawful for you to be doing this to a citizen of Heaven?” Then begin confessing who you are in Christ, what you have in Him and what you can do through Him. Like the Roman soldier, that question will put the fear of God in him and he will tuck his tail and run!
Acts 22:25, 29 (The Message)
As they spread-eagled him with thongs, getting him ready for the whip, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is this legal: torturing a Roman citizen without a fair trial?”
That put a stop to the interrogation. And it put the fear of God into the captain. He had put a Roman citizen in chains and come within a whisker of putting him under torture!
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