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Vantage Point

Power with God

Crawling out of bed each morning, Marie* deliberately makes her way to a notebook that sits at a small table beside her dresser. Opening it carefully she begins a litany that she will follow legalistically through to completion before daring to do anything else. Her list includes binding Satan, loosing bonds upon herself, proclaiming the name of Jesus, pleading the blood of Jesus, and several other steps. Before going to bed at night, there is another list to complete. To Marie, this is “spiritual warfare.”

But what Marie hoped would free her has become a bondage in itself. Already in the grip of fear, she has now increased her burden with legalism.

Those on the other side of the spectrum are far more common. These Christians know how to shout at the devil when surrounded by other believers. They feel a sense of confidence in collectively assaulting the gates of hell with the pertinent Christian formulas.

But there is a difference between knowing God and attempting to manipulate His laws. A believer with an inconsistent prayer life should expect little return from the rote repetition of formulas just because they are prayed in a pious setting. It’s better to pray persistently than to shout sporadically. Enthusiasm is not anointing; volume isn’t victory. Decibels don’t decimate Satan; spiritual power is what defeats the devil.

There are details to spiritual warfare, important details — but the most elementary instruction is also the most important: Get to know God; spend time in His presence.

Marie continues to suffer because she treats God as a stern disciplinarian who will punish her if she doesn’t get her prayers “just right.” Those on the other side lose out because they treat God as a Santa Claus at their beck and call, while finding no need to spend time with Him except in times of crisis or when surrounded by other believers.

But God wants more than this, both from us and for us. He is a loving Father who enjoys our company and delights in answering our prayers. When we learn this, we have learned the secret of power with God.

Ken Horn

*Name changed.

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