You may have begun this course looking for the tricks to greater power. You may be over-whelmed by life, by difficulties, by things beyond your control. You may have been hoping for a plan and way by which you could crush your enemies. Yet, upon closer inspection we see that the way of Jesus and the power of Christ is realized in gentleness, kindness, and in humility.

In Luke 10 when Jesus says that he is sending us out as lambs among wolves he was not saying that we would be slaughtered, rather he is attesting that humility (innocence in Christ) is what disarms evil.

The way of the Kingdom of God is profoundly different than the way of the world. Consider what the author Gene Edwards says,

“There is no form or order to God’s government; there is only a man with a contrite heart.” Gene Edwards 76

I have to agree with him. It is the contrite heart, the vulnerable heart, the humble heart, the heart that refuses to take up arms against our enemies, the heart that lives the peace of Christ that disarms evil in this world.

Spiritual warfare has been a long sought after topic. There are many books and teachings about how to defeat the enemy. Month #8 adds to this. I will be sharing what I have learned in the last fifteen years of confronting and being confronted by demonic forces in the spirit realm. There are convictions I’ve come to about the way we delve into spiritual warfare.

Many of my convictions may contradict much of what you have learned about defeating the enemy. For my own primary conclusion is that in spiritual warfare we do not focus on the devil. I am convinced that as we focus on the devil that we give him the glory he wants. I am convinced that as we focus on the devil we are participating in paganism.

If this is true, we must therefore identify what is pagan practice and what is Gods way of dealing with evil and with the demonic. Consider the following:

Pagan responses may include (think of those who worship other gods):

  • making a lot of noise to get the attention (of the gods)
  • shouting at demons to make them go away
  • giving sacrifices to ensure one’s protection (that the gods may be kept happy)
  • frenzied singing, dancing, screaming (the opposite of peace which comes from God)
  • asking for information from demons themselves
  • focussing on the demonic in prayers or preaching
  • blaming everything that goes bad on Satan
  • exchanging prophecy and prayers for money (an extension of witchcraft)

As a prayer minister in Canada I am regularly setting people free from demonic strongholds. Yet my prayer clients usually never know that there are demons being released off of them. This is because I refuse to give glory to the enemy. A space is held (expectations and boundaries) that is for the Lord and the Lord only; we welcome only the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, not the manifestations of the demonic.

Deep within this conviction is that we do not allow the enemy to humiliate people by thrashing or throwing them around. While this may happen (and it does happen) it is not something that we seek. God honors people and upholds their dignity and we are to do the same. 77

The enemy can be removed with very little show. It must be remembered that when we make a great show of deliverance that the enemy gets the attention and the glory that he wants. We want the glory for the Lord only.

Authority has nothing to do with:

the loudness of our voice Acts 1:8
the repetition of our words Matthew 6:7
the noise level we can make 1 Corinthians 4:20

Authority has to do with:

our position in Christ Ephesians 2:6
simple commands Matthew 8:16
agreeing with God John 15:1b

  1. Refusing to Use God as a Show:

Our commands and declarations will not be more effective if shouted.

On a recent trip to East Africa I went to many places and prayed healing for many people. I remember one woman in particular. She had come with physical pain and wanted healing.

I prayed, speaking calmly and quietly, “I declare that all hip pain must go right now in the name of Jesus.”

I then asked, “How is the pain, is it gone?”

She nodded her head, “Yes, the pain is all gone.”

But she walked away disappointed. There had not been a big enough experience for her. Even though there was healing she was not happy. What was she really wanting?

Freedom and healing in Christ does not need a show or drama to be lasting and deep and real because freedom and healing does not come about by drama or show but by the power of our Living Lord Jesus Christ and the blood that he shed on the cross; his life poured out, for us to partake.
It seems that many want a show and a big drama … but not God himself.

Jesus secured our healing over 2000 years ago. Today we simply claim it. We say ‘yes and amen’ to the freedom of our lives in Christ.

The woman disappointed by her easy healing revealed that she didn’t really want healing so much as she wanted a big dramatic experience.

NOTE: It is paganism and idolatry that seeks a spiritual encounter rather than Christ himself.

Unfortunately, in many places we have come to assume and expect loud voices, gyrating bodies, a spectacle 78 rather than an honouring of both God and people.

It is far too easy as humans to want a supernatural experience. We often glory in the supernatural rather than in Christ. This is exactly what the enemy would want. It is idolatry of the supernatural and something that far too many churches and pastors are creating within their congregations. 79

It is interesting to note that Christ himself gave simple commands.

“That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick.” Matthew 8:16 NLT

Jesus refused the big show of healing and often told people to go silently and to not tell anyone about the miracle that had just happened for them.

Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!”  Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly! Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone” Mark 7:33-36a NLT

Jesus rarely allowed a spectacle, certainly never sought one — why would we do anything differently?

As a pastor, evangelist, or leader in the Body of Christ, do you want a spectacle so that people are entertained or do you want their deep healing, even if it comes about in quiet ways?

We must check our motives on this. The ‘show’ takes advantage of weak people. It gives them an experience with the supernatural but not necessarily with Christ. It tricks them into believing that they have met with God, when perhaps they have not.

The fruit of spiritual authority is not the spectacle of touching the power of God, the fruit of the work is evidenced in lives healed, free, whole, restored, faith-filled, mature, faithful, and more.

In my experience over many years when people come into powerful contact with the living God they get silent. Before almighty God we have nothing to say but we enter into a quietness of body and soul. Often the deepest presence of God creates a holy hush.

What if all our loud and demonstrative healing services have served to in fact keep people from a deep awareness of the Lord? 80

What if all our loud and demonstrative healing services have only served to make kingdoms for ourselves and not the Lord?

When we make the gospel of Jesus Christ into a travelling show we are using God. Spiritual authority, spiritual warfare is a much different thing that comes from a much different motivation and practice.

Put aside the show, put aside the spectacle, and become a deep and lasting conduit for the river of God’s healing and wholeness for others. Do not hunger for the evidence of God, hunger for God himself.

During one of my ministry times in Africa there was a pastor laying on hands and praying for individuals and people were going down in the spirit. One woman followed this man from place to place. She sat through every lengthy service just to get to the end of the time when she could stand in line to be prayed upon. And each time she was prayed upon she would writhe and roll around on the ground. She came back for this again and again.

Her body was responding to the powerful touch of the Holy Spirit. This happens we know. The problem with the entire scenario though, is that she was not being mentored or taught or brought into relationship with Christ in any way whatsoever. She was not being matured in the Lord. She was there for the thrill and nothing more. She was using God and the pastor. But, and this is important to get, the pastor was using her too.

Because of her weakness she easily submitted to the physical frenzy that came, she welcomed it even. And the pastor kept giving it to her. It was part of the show. It was part of what evidenced him as powerful. Others stood in awe of this man and the spirit upon him, partly because this woman and others like her acted out the show that everyone wanted. But it is paganism that makes a show of things. We move from the glory of God to glorifying in the supernatural and this is wrong and will be our undoing over time.

How did we get from Christ’s example of, “Tell no one” to events like I’ve just described? Jesus himself never encouraged a show. As his disciples, why would we?

Are we really wanting the living God to touch us, to heal us, to restore us, or do we want the show, the glory, the spectacle and the applause? Are we willing to speak simple prayers that command healing in quietness and peace?

We must consider our own motives and the motives of those who might come to us for prayer, the motives of our church services and healing crusades.

  1. Always the Light of Christ:

Spiritual warfare is not about performance. Spiritual warfare is about bringing in the light of Christ in such a way that the darkness and presence of evil leaves.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 ESV

“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” John 12:46 NLT

Spiritual warfare is about Christ, about the blood of the lamb, about light, about healing, about freedom and wholeness, about holiness and righteousness lived out loud, about justice brought to those without voice and without strength, it is about whole lives, transformation of hearts, and restored communities.

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 NLT

Spiritual warfare is for the purpose of moving people from the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of God. It is for the purpose of increasingly establishing the Kingdom of God in our own lives, the lives of our family, the people of our churches, and then finally it is about establishing the Kingdom of God in our communities and nations.

“This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” Jeremiah 22:3 NIV

We can know that the Kingdom of God is becoming established when the reign and rule of Christ is evidenced.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

Bringing in the light of Christ is so simple that we miss it. Again, many would love to be yelling at the darkness, commanding the darkness, fighting the darkness, defeating the darkness. But the Bible tell us how to defeat the darkness, it is by becoming people of light.

Imagine that you or I are at the door of a dark house. Inside the home are no lights. From outside the home looking in it looks scary and … dark. We may even be afraid to enter.

Now, imagine that I approach the door to the house and I begin yelling, “DARKNESS GO AWAY. GO AWAY DARKNESS. I DECLARE THAT YOU MUST GO NOW!” And so on.

We could stand outside that dark home for hours and days yelling at the darkness but will it go away?

No, of course not! But, if I bring even a small candle into the home the darkness goes. Even a small light is stronger than the darkness.

This is the way with spiritual warfare. It is not about fighting the enemy per se, that battle has already been fought and won by Jesus Christ. We now bring Jesus with us, we live as he lived, we allow his light to shine out of our lives, and the darkness will go. We do not have to focus on the darkness, we focus on Christ.

  1. Not Our Power:

One of the greatest story-tellers of our time, Gene Edwards writes this,

“Many men pray for the power of God. More every year. Those prayers sound powerful, sincere, godly and without ulterior motive. Hidden under such prayer and fervour, however, are ambition, a craving for fame, the desire to be considered a spiritual giant. The man who prays such prayers may not even know it, but such dark motives and desires are in his heart… are in your heart.

Even as men pray these prayers, they are hollow inside. There is little internal spiritual growth. Prayer for power is the quick and the short way, circumnavigating internal growth. There is a a vast difference between the outward clothing of the Spirit’s power and the inward filling of the Spirit’s life. In the first, despite the power, the hidden man of the heart may remain unchanged. In the latter, that monster is dealt with.

Interesting about God. He hears all those requests for power, which fervent young men pray (in every generation) and He answer them! Very often He grants those requests for power, for authority. Sometimes in answering them, He says ‘yes’ to some very unworthy vessels.

The gifts of God, once given, cannot be recalled. Even in the presence of sin. … Highly gifted and very powerful men … reputed to be leaders in the Kingdom of God, do some very dark and ugly deeds. What does this world need: Gifted men, outwardly empowered? Or broken men, inwardly transformed?” Gene Edwards 81

As we move within the Spirit of our Living God we must continue to give it all back to him. Our hearts must be checked and tested and found pure for God and God alone. When we long for power we will come to find that one day, the power corrupts us. We may be strong on the outside but we become weak from within.

The Second Commandment reads, “You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.” Exodus 20:7 NLT

I have heard this verse explained this way: When the Israelites had entered into the promised land they continued to conquer the land. 82 The surrounding nations saw that God was with them and they were both afraid and intrigued. They saw the great power that the Israelites had in God and decided they wanted to use this same power for themselves. And so they too began speaking and acting in the name of God.
And yet, they had no relationship with God and so their using of his name was an affront and a ‘using’ of God. This is what the second commandment expressly forbids.

“Do not use God’s name for powerful results unless you have a relationship with God and He is the one directing your using of his name. “

The Lord’s name is not a play thing and it is not something to use for our own means. It is only by relationship with Jesus that we can safely enter into spirit realm work. Spiritual authority that seeks to do spirit realm work without Christ will ultimately fail, for it stands on ego and pride rather than the manner and work of our Lord.

The enemy is a powerful opponent. To go after the enemy on your own strength and best wisdom is madness. He will take you out unless you are covered by the name and blood of Jesus Christ, secured by relationship and obedience and in abiding to the most High God.

  • Jesus came with great authority but with simple commands
  • He never encouraged a spectacle or any kind of show
  • He invested in relationship with God and people out of a pure heart that mirrored the Father
  • Jesus did only what the Father told him to do, and nothing more
  • We must do the same

For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.” John 12:49 NIV

We have been using the power of God for our own means. We have been drawing attention to ourselves and not God. We have been seeking the power of God so that others can give us glory (and money, let’s be honest). But read what Jesus said in Matthew,

“Not everyone who calls out out me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Matthew 7:21-23 NLT

We talk a lot about anointing. We use the term to differentiate those who have power of God and those who do not. Yet the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as the power of God and with all coming to Christ then baptized thereby receiving the power of the Holy Spirit for the remission of sins.

Everyone is to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NLT

  1. No Distinctions Between Us:

The Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit is for all disciples of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the help from God promised by God to everyone who believes. Each of us who call Jesus Lord are to walk in the gifts of the spirit.

When we exalt the ‘anointed’ ones over others we are participating in pagan religion — something Christ came to save us from!

“He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith.” Acts 15:9 NLT

“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who they are.” Romans 3:22 NLT

“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the the poor one, ‘You can stand over there or else sit on the floor’ — well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? James 2:1-4 NLT

So, first we mistakenly believe that only some people are spiritually gifted, or anointed as we may call it, by God. But this is not true. All power of God comes through the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is for every believer without distinction and without partiality.

Secondly, we have not been taught to differentiate between the gifting of God and then the character of the person. We tend to believe that if there is great power coming from a person that this indicates that the person is ‘right’ with God, that they are a good and holy person, and that nothing is off or wrong in their life. We assume that gifting from God means God’s approval of who they are.

But nothing could be farther from the truth. God anoints people because of who God is, not because of who we are. In my travels I have met a number of highly gifted men of God who were losing all their influence and ministry as they grew in power in an outward fashion but refused to grow in their inner man.

Consider Samuel in the Bible. He was gifted with much physical power by the Holy Spirit, but he was a weak man in character and integrity. He was a womanizer, a cheat, a lier, and was without wisdom in the gifts of the Lord. He was gifted by the Holy Spirit because of who God was, not because of who he was.

This is the same for all of us. We may have a great spiritual gifts of the Lord upon us and we may mistake this as a special favour by God, a mark that we are perfect and good in him, a sign that we have some special connection that others don’t have. But again, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Anointing does not indicate approval by God, it indicates a God who anoints.

“God, forgive us for making a spectacle out of your holy work. Lead us into a deep and true healing that is seeking you in a pure way.”


Jesus says … “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20 NIV

This is a direct command against our tendency to make idols of spirituality and spiritual authority. We are to be glad and content to live in God and that God lives in us.

True and deep spiritual authority is in the places of your personal victory in Christ. If your pride has died at the cross then you can confess pride on behalf of your community. If you have surrendered lust at the cross and walk in it no longer then you can declare lust lifted off of entire areas. If you have died to fear then you can speak boldness to others. And so on.

Spiritual authority is the fruit of our personal brokenness before God. Nothing more and nothing less.

Therefore, we focus on dying to self and living in God. God is to remain the focus of our lives.

Today’s Assignment we confess our hunger for and idolatry of power. We also confess a spirit of sensationalism.

“God, I come before you today in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. Father I take this time and space and prayer and declare myself covered and kept in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. As I pray I declare that all lying, deceiving, and condemning spirits must be silent — I want to hear from you only God. I invite you.

God I confess that I have wanted power. I confess that I have made power into an idolatry and have lusted after it. I am sorry. I also confess God to a spirit of sensationalism, this thing in me that wants a big show. Yet I realize Jesus that you never went after a show, that in fact you took people aside and away from the crowds to heal them. I am sorry Jesus for wanting to use your power to bring me attention and glory. I am sorry God for stealing your glory for myself.

Today Lord, I bring this idolatry of power and my lust for sensationalism to the cross of my living Lord Jesus Christ. I reach back into my past with the strong arm of my Lord Jesus Christ to the time when these things began to grow in my heart and mind and life and I pull them up. I leave nothing behind but I remove all the roots and the tentacles of these things from my being.

I unwind the chains that have been upon me and my family because of my lust for power and sensationalism, today I say no more, and I declare every link of these chains severed in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ.

I cancel the authority, the assignments, and the curses of the enemy that have been in and over and through my life because of these sins. Today I say no more and I declare that all things of the enemy that have been in my life because of these sins must go to the place where the true Lord Jesus Christ chooses to send them.

And today I stand in newness, in fresh vulnerability with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I put aside power and I take on relationship, deep and true with Jesus. I welcome him to see and to sift all of my heart and to purify me of all false and evil motives. Come Lord Jesus Come.”

Summary – Refusing Paganism

God calls us to real influence, not show. 1 Corinthians 4:20; Matthew 7:21-23

Jesus tells us to be glad in Him, not spirituality or the supernatural or in power. Luke 10:20

Look to the light, not the darkness. John 12:46


76 The Tale of Three Kings, 1980, 1992, by Gene Edwards, SeedSowers, Newnan, Georgia, pg 86
77 of course, it is noted that birthing is always messy and loud and long, and so as we come into a new birth and into life in the spirit, this may be loud and messy, yet not for the purpose of show, but with new life in Christ and an indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the result
78 definition of spectacle: a visually striking performance or display
79 Of course, I am speaking to the habit of making a show of spiritual power. It must, though, be noted that in many places around the world we have the opposite problem. Some cultures are so reserved and quiet that anything ‘out loud’ in the Spirit and it is called a work of the enemy. This too, is a distortion. God does come in power. Bodies are thrown to the ground. There is much joy and celebration and loud noise in the Spirit. This we must be free to walk in as well. We must become okay with raising our arms to the Lord, to speaking in tongues, to joyful worship, and more. We must check our motives and we must give the Holy Spirit room to work in and through us in ways we may not understand. We don’t go after the show but we welcome the full work and presence of God in our lives.
80 To be clear, I am talking about excess, where we are unable to gather in a quiet way. Freedom is both the ability to be loud before the Lord and to be quiet before the Lord. To gladly and vocally share our enthusiasm about God and to quietly sit and listen and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. We need both kinds of expressions and faith habit in our midst.
81 The Tale of Three Kings, 1980, 1992, by Gene Edwards, SeedSowers, Newnan, Georgia, pg.39-41
82 The symbolism of the Israelites ‘taking the land’ points us to our own call to allow our ‘land’ to be inhabited by God. Meaning, we allow God to remake us, to take over our lives, to set up camp in our relationships and work and ministry. We welcome God’s ownership of our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies. We come into his lordship and ownership.

=> Let’s study Birthing Something New next.

Capturing Courage International Ministries ::
College of Capturing Courage ::
Email Us ::