The first place to gain dominion is with yourself. Eph. 4:27 shows us we can give the devil a foothold, or legal doorway to access our life, creating negative energies. This session gives a check-list of common doorways, and practical steps on how we can take responsibility for our life and close down these gateways. There is clear instruction on how to recognise and deal with spiritual attacks - spiritual problems need spiritual solutions. We can identify our own 'personal enemies' and deal with them ourselves. "deliver ourself from the had of the hunter". Many Q&A in this session cover a large range of situations.
So let's have a look now in Section Four on exercising authority in your personal life, and there's quite a lot to be said around this area, so I've focussed on some aspects of it, but let's look at it. The first place to gain dominion is yourself. In Ephesians 4, Verse 27, it says in Verse 26: be angry, but don't sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, neither give place to the devil. So it's talking firstly to believers, and it's clearly possible for believers to get angry, and sinfully angry, just as well it's also possible for a believer to give place to the devil. Now the word place is a Greek word, topos meaning an opportunity, a foothold or a legal ground or right. So He's saying to believers, don't give the devil legal footholds into your life, don't give them a ground on which they can access your life.
So the first place, you've got to get the victories in your own life, and it helps if you can recognise some of the strategies that demonic spirits use to manipulate and close your life, and to identify any gates or doors. Now some of this material starts to move towards the area of deliverance, and I don't want to make this a ministry session on deliverance, or a whole major teaching around deliverance, but I have observed in the past that when you start to stand up and speak into the spirit world, if there are footholds in your life, they quickly begin to manifest. [Laughs] So I have noticed that if you have legal areas or doorways open in your life, where spirits are operative, that when you start to engage speaking into the spirit world it pushes back on you temporarily, just temporarily, to see whether you really actually will stand up or not.
So I have observed at times, so for example I got up, and for a season there I was regularly, every day, beginning to command my day. So I'd rise and speak in the spirit, and begin to speak, now I command every aspect of my day to come into alignment with God's will for my life. I speak over every aspect of my day, to fully align with what God has purposed for me. I take authority over every assignment - I'd begin to speak and break things, and I found when I did that for about three days, and then I had a lot of trouble. I found that there was a lot of pressure around my mind and emotions, and it was like a discouragement to stop praying that way. So I've observed with working in exercising your spiritual authority, that the most common experiences people have initially are that there's a little bit of turmoil, pressure comes around you, or conflicts come in that area you're praying into.
So because this was a personal area, the pressure came around me personally in prayer, and I kind of felt like quitting. After three days at it, I felt like giving up, and I thought whoa, this is getting hard - but it was actually just a spiritual pressure I had to keep working against, and I had to look to see if there were any grounds or reasons that that pressure had a right to stay there, and put that right. I have found when people have prayed into marriages, sometimes the initial thing that happens is turmoil takes place, but then problems come out to the open, and you can then talk things through. Healing, resolution, and new ways of living together can take place. In the workplace, sometimes the initial outcome of praying is greater turmoil than ever, but again if you'll just keep up the pressure, it shifts and aligns with the word of God.
Remember it says: by faith we understand the world that we see was framed, or set in place, or ordered and created by the words that God spoke, so we have power to speak and frame up our world to align with what God wants. It doesn't absolve us from engaging and doing things, but this is an incredible important part, is speaking the word of God - so in 4.2, spirits try to make you ineffective. In 2 Corinthians 2, Verse 11, Paul said: lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. So although at the cross Jesus legally or took the legal rights of Satan away, for practical operating purposes, he still operates unhindered, because people don't know that. Once you know what Jesus has accomplished, and believe and stand on it, then the devil loses ground immediately before you.
But he does have his devices, he does have his ways, and he does work on people's lives. It's when you start to pray, you start to see it. He said: lest Satan should take advantage - the word advantage means to defraud, take what belongs to another by deceit. So he's saying demonic spirits will try to take what God has planned for you, by manipulating your thoughts, your mind, your emotions, so you don't realise what's going on. That's why we do need relationships, so people can talk into our life, and say hey listen, I'm a bit concerned about what's happening, I can see this. We all need that and not go it alone.
We're not ignorant, or without any kind of knowledge or information about the devices of the devil, so here's an interesting verse here in Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 2. Jesus says: He made you alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, who once walked in the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, that spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. So He's saying: this is what your life was, and He's saying that when we were in the world and lived without Christ, it said evil spirits could work in our life. The word work there is the word energayo, from which we get energetic or energy, and it means to be operative, to energise, or put it this way: the way spirits operate is they creative negative spiritual energy in your life. They energise things that are already there, so they become difficult to overcome, or they bring pressure on you, and it's a very real pressure, a very real energy.