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    Ravens and the Prophet

by Robert Weston  

The Schools of the Prophets
Chapter twenty-five
Part Two


Overcoming the Demonic
Most modern day schools of the prophets major on worship and prayer, teaching the body of Christ to enter deeply into the Lord’s presence. They are also concerned to teach right perspectives on spiritual warfare.
  This is important, because many Christians today appear to be more afraid of the rise of Antichrist, than they are looking forward to the return of our Lord Jesus. We must resist the demonic expectation that evil will rule the world. That is not to deny that evil is establishing itself in places where it has no right to be.(5) The enemy is a master propagandist, and he has long succeeded in securing landing-points for sin, in the Church as well as in fallen institutions. We have only to look at the endless committees that discuss sexual as well as theological issues, and which so often end up rationalising sin rather than exposing it.  

Scripture does indeed teach that ‘the whole world is under the control of the evil one.’ Jesus Himself called Satan ‘the prince of this world.’ We have to reconcile such statements, however, against the ringing declaration that ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.’(6) Satan is the god of this world in the sense that the ‘world’ corresponds to the prevailing system of beliefs and ideas. These are the world order that he can manipulate, but Planet Earth belongs to the Lord! Delusion is Satan’s primary characteristic, just as confusion his middle name.

In our own lives, our first and most important spiritual weapon is repentance, for this takes away all points of access from the devil’s subtle shafts – the ‘house’ we may have built around some sin or habit. We cannot hope to resist the devil successfully until we have first submitted ourselves to the Lord. (James 4:7) Sins such as lust, greed, hate, and fear are primarily sins of the flesh, and must therefore be taken to the cross. Demons can fire the desires of the flesh – but flesh cannot be cast out. Serious mistakes are often made at this point when Christians take it on themselves to pray directly against Satan, thus addressing the devil rather than God.

It can cause serious upset in the course of a prayer meeting when people start addressing the wrong person! As Leanne Payne reminds us, ‘We are always to minister to God, and to practise His presence. It is only when we encounter demons, principalities and powers as it were in our path that we are to speak directly to them and command them to leave.’(7)

To be involved in spiritual warfare is not a licence to focus on demons. If a Christian does becomes focused on them, he can, quite inadvertently, provide the enemy with a landing strip, and become embroiled in all manner of confusion and unnecessary warfare. Yes, there are sins that need addressing, not to mention confessing, but this usually has more to do with habit-breaking repentance rather than with demon-binding.

There is a call here for maturity. It is possible to bring darkness into our lives in such ways by praying in the wrong way. Just as our task is to release people into areas of service, rather than to control them, so we are not the ones who can control the darkness. That is properly the Lord’s domain.

Nevertheless, the Lord will call some of us to pray for the corruption that is hidden in the heart of the nation to be exposed. This is a work for the mature, and one to undertake corporately.

Our prophetic task is always to prepare the way for the Lord – which means overcoming the high places that are in men’s hearts and minds. These are what need challenging, as we pray for the release of the Holy Spirit’s power. 

In what ways have you experienced the prophetic ministry in your life and calling?
Is there anything specific the Lord would have you do – or be involved with – to make Him known in your profession or special area of concern?

Lord, we pray that You will be glorified by raising up a Church which moves in prophetic dimensions, revealing You as You really are. May more and more of us serve You in such ways within our chosen fields and professions. Raise up many modern-day schools of prophets to Your glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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5 You may find it heavy going, but ‘The Grave Digger File’ by Os Guiness (Hodder) illustrates this point, as, in fiction form, does ‘That Hideous Strength’ by C.S.Lewis. (Pan)
61 John 1:19; John 14:30; Psalm 24:1
7 See ‘Restoring the Christian Soul’, Leanne Payne, p. 209ff (Kingsway).