Destroy the works of the devil!
Some people say like this "Well, I believe the devil is defeated, so I don't think there's any reason to talk about him. Let's talk about Jesus instead!". It's completely true that he is defeated, yet it's completely false to make the conclusion that we don't need to talk about him.
You see, many people who are professing Christ with their mouth are not living as if he was really defeated! They are being sick in their bodies, they are living in poverty, they are depressed. There is basically no difference between them and the people of the world. But this is not at all how God wants it to be.
The title of this article is "Destroy the works of the devil". What's this about? Well, it's from 1 Joh 3:8b. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.". When did he do this? In the glorious victory of the redemption! In the completed work of Christ.
You see, ever since the fall of man, early in our history, the creation was under the power of the devil. You may like this or not, but it's what the bible says. Colossians 1:13 says we have been delivered from the power of darkness into the kingdom of the Son, Jesus Christ. Now listen carefully. What does the power of darkness mean? Well, the word translated here as "power" literally means "authority". You see, when God created man he gave us authority. We were to have dominion over it (Gen 1:28). We were to exercise true, biblical authority. The same authority that any good man exercises over his children.
When man sinned, he gave this authority to the serpent, the devil. That is how he became the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Some translations don't put it like this, but if you check the greek, it's the same word that is used for the Godhead - theos. Satan became the god of this world - in a perfectly legal way. Man had a free will to do however it pleased him. To submit to the perfect will of God, or to make himself god, which in reality made Satan his god.
"This is a very pessimistic teaching" some people say. Well, that's just because we've mostly talked about the state of man before the victory of Jesus here. You see, the whole reason for the Father to send Jesus to this earth was because he loved the sinners so much that he couldn't bear with just destroying the creation. It would have been completely possible - but God is a merciful Father. He didn't want to do something like that.
Instead, he decided to once and for all defeat that old, lying creep called Satan. Yes, you may say hallelujah - this is definitely something glorious! I have already said it once, but it deserves to be repeated - Jesus came to this earth to destroy the works of the devil.
Now, what exactly is the works of the devil? John 10:10 says that "the thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy". Then it goes on to say one of the most wonderful things in the whole bible: "But I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.". Quite a statement!
When Jesus suffered, died and resurrected, he did it for you and me. It was not for humanity in general, it was for you and me! This is a very important revelation that you need to get into your spirit. Jesus is your personal savior, and He cares about you personally. He cares about other people, and he cares about you!
In Hebrews 2:14, it says that before the resurrection of Jesus, the devil had the power of death. What is the power of death? Well, sickness and poverty help shortening the process very well, do they not? Many people in the world are dying each day because they are sick or poor. How's this so? Well, when man sinned, he put the creation under corruption. Something that is corrupted is basically distorted. It's been put from perfection to imperfection. The good thing is, Glory to God, that we have been taken from the corruption in the world to incorruption! The first epistle of Peter talks very much about this. I recommend you read it in its entirety.
Poverty, sickness and disease is a curse. God said it himself. Read Deuteronomy 28:15 and forward. The amazing thing is that Jesus took upon himself this curse (Gal 3:13) so that we could enjoy the blessing of Abraham (v14). Glory be to God!
This should be the evidence you need if you think poverty is a virtue. How so? Because Abraham was probably the richest man on earth at that time! The bible doesn't just describe him as rich, but as very rich (Gen 13:2). Quite incredible. And even more incredible is that we're to walk in the same steps as this great man of faith.
If you want to know what blessings God has for you, if you are in Christ, read these scriptures: Eph 1:3, Gen 1:28, Deut 28:2-8, Phil 4:19. God is a good God, and he wants you to bless you very much if you walk with him.
Now, the question that many people will probably ask: "I have been a Christian for all of my life. How come this is not real in my life?". Well, it can be because of different things. For example, have you been talking about how miserable you are? That will certainly keep you miserable. "Death and life is in the power of the tongue" (Prov 18:21). If it still doesn't ring a bell, read Deuteronomy 30:19. God has placed before us life and death - and it's up to us to choose which one we like. I remember the story when Moses sent spies into the land - and everyone except for Joshua and Caleb said they were not going to make it. Why was this a problem? They were not having a good confession. Their mouths proved that they did not have any real faith in God. If you want a good confession, start meditating on the Word of God. Realize that it's just as important for you, as a believer, to "eat the Word of God" (Matt 4:4) as eating in the natural. Believe that God is bigger than your problems! And start speaking that mountain into the sea. In the name of Jesus, every obstacle in our lifes has to go! Hallelujah!