There is a great scene in the movie “The Untouchables”in which Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner)recruits Jim Malone,(Sean Connery),a steet wise police officer,to partner up and help him bring down the notorious organized crime boss, Al Capone. I’ve included this video clip in this article below to illustrate some parallels with the spiritual battle between good and evil.  More on that later…Many great songs and words of inspiration have come out of Ephesians 6:11 which says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  Verse 12 goes on to explain that our battle is not against people and physical things of this world, but against spiritual forces. Yes, those spiritual forces come against us in ways manifested in the natural, but the source sending those attacks are often supernatural evil forces. I don’t want to just stand against the devil.  I want to defeat him, and this scripture gives us the key to doing so.  Let’s look at the list in the order that Paul gives us in Ephesians 6:

  1. Belt of Truth
  2. Breastplate of Righteousness
  3. Shoes of Readiness
  4. Shield of Faith
  5. Helmet of Salvation
  6. Sword of the Spirit

Brian Iphone Pics 055While plenty of armor makes for a good defense, it takes fighting back with a weapon to beat an enemy.  I only see one weapon in Paul’s list.  Ephesians 6:17 says the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.

We need to get the Word of God in us if we are to defeat the devil.  Many of us have gone through major storms of life.  We’ve been fighting temptations, addictions, major problems in the areas of marriage, kid’s behavior, health, financial and fighting anxiety and depression.  Are you going through a storm now?  Maybe its been a very long time and nothing is getting better and nothing is helping, but I have good news for you!  I hope to inspire you to continue the fight with a new weapon!  That is Jesus in your heart and Scripture on your tongue.  Be inspired to fight but know that inspiration without information won’t help you. Information from the study of Scripture is your boot camp!  Learn it well because Hebrews 4:12 says, “the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.”

Jesus was tempted by the devil 3 times in the desert and Jesus quoted scripture each of those times in response to beat the devil and make him flee. Why? Is it because Jesus needed Scripture to beat the devil?  No. He did so because we need Scripture to beat the devil.  Jesus has the full authority and power of God.  Jesus can speak new words and they become the Word of God. We can’t do that.  His actions during temptation are an important lesson to us.  He prepared it for us so we can learn to emulate Him and be empowered against the devil and all his lies.

Our weapon to defeat the devil is Scripture.  All the best armor will eventually disintegrate from constant beatings by the enemy if the warrior doesn’t have a weapon to fight back.  So without fighting back, what exactly is the devil beating on and wearing down?  He’s beating on your armor of truth, righteousness, readiness to stand against evil, your faith and ultimately against your eternal salvation. These are the first 5 of Paul’s list.

The devil is relentless to beat you up in these areas because diminishing defenses is how any attacker wins a battle.  It’s that armor that keeps you safe and gives you a fighting chance if only you’ll take up your sword and and use your weapon to overcome the enemy.  Romans 8:35-38 says, “Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword separate us from the love of Jesus Christ? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Okay, so what does this have to do with “The Untouchables?”  I remembered the pivotal scene in the movie in which Jim Malone asks Elliot Ness, “Do you really want to get Capone?  What are you prepared to do?  You have to be prepared to go all the way because he won’t give up the fight until one of you is dead.  So, if you want to get Capone, here is how you do it; He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!”

Video Clip via The Fandango Movie Clip Channel

That is also God’s way. When the devil brings trouble into your life, respond with God’s greater force and power!  How?  By speaking Scripture and doing so in the name of Jesus, the name above all names! Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue.  Get in agreement with God by speaking his Words in faith, knowing its right and true.  The devil is powerless against Jesus and the Word of God when proclaimed by a person that is born again with Jesus in their heart and the power of the Holy Spirit active and moving in their life to fulfill God’s will. But if you are not born again, forget about it.  It’s like trying to fire a gun with no bullets.  

Evil spirits know who has Christ in them and who does not.  Even if a person does not believe in God, demons do.  James 2:19 says, “even the demons believe [in one God] and they tremble!” Being born again in Christ is absolutely a necessity because it is not the individual speaking that has the power, but Christ within them that does.  Otherwise, it is just words be spoken by an ordinary person with no supernatural power breathing life into the words. 

Illustrating this ill-advised approach is Acts 16:13-16 which says, “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”

You see, when you start speaking to evil spirits, you better hope they don’t have to ask, “Who are you?”  Instead, you want them to see and hear Jesus and tremble! Then they will flee. Perhaps that is why Paul listed the helmet of salvation before the sword of the Spirit. Salvation is Paul’s 5th on the list and it is the primary indicator that a person comes in the name of Jesus with the authority and power of His name. Then, going to Paul’s number 6 and attacking the devil with the Word of God is now going to be successful.  Speaking of that power of God within us, 1 John 4:4 says that children of God will overcome evil spirits because “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

If you struggle with addictions or chronic health problems keeping you from fulfilling the will of God in your life, perhaps it will take a greater, supernatural power to overcome that evil grip.  If not for these things, you may be more of a blessing to others and the light of Jesus in a dark world that needs your light!  I don’t need to wonder if that is God’s will for your life. It most certainly is.  Is evil attacking, working on your life in such a way to keep you from God’s will and God’s best for your life?  Is evil keeping you from freedom, a distraction from seeking the Kingdom of God and righteousness, such that you be truly blessed by God and your needs met (Matthew 6:33)? Good news! You can fix that. Receive Christ as your Lord and Savior and cast out the evil!  When your marriage, kids or finances are under attack and crumbling around you and the stress is too much and you can’t fix it under your own power, call on Jesus and proclaim his Words of healing, restoration, grace, mercy, forgiveness and cast out those evil spirits and let the battle belong to the Lord and in the power of His might.

Bible and Holy Spirit DeliveranceStart by receiving Christ!  In that line of thinking, let’s go back to the movie clip which takes place in a church, oddly enough.  Jim Malone ends the conversation in the church by agreeing to work with Elliot Ness by shaking his hand and saying, “Do you know what a blood oath is?” Ness says, “Yes” and Malone replies, “Good, because you just took one!” 

Do the same. Give Jesus a handshake! Take the blood oath and start working with Jesus as your partner! Yes, when you become born again, you take a blood oath, or receive it.  We call it the “New Covenant” but it means the same thing.  A quick google search “Define Oath” brought this up in the first spot, “A solemn promise, often invoking a divine witness, regarding one’s future action or behavior.”  The sacrifice and blood of Jesus is His covenant with (or oath to) all believers that they are forgiven, redeemed, have eternal life and as far as future actions are concerned, Jesus also made the promise that believers will cast out demons in His name (Mark 16:17).  

Here is an example of how to do this, striking a blow with the sword of the Spirit against the devil. With Jesus in your heart, declare out loud to the devil, “You have no power over me because I submit myself to God and I am resisting you, devil, and you must flee from me.” Congratulations!  That is one mighty thrust of the sword because you just made God’s Word in James 4:7 become your words. Now say, “I submit myself to God because His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.” You just declared Isaiah 55:8. That is another jab of the sword at the devil.  Say, “I resist you devil because blessed is the man that resists temptation, for he will receive the crown of life. Devil, I know you are trying to keep me from the crown of life. I know all about your lies. You are my adversary, trying only to devour me like a roaring lion walking about. In Jesus name, I won’t let you. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I cast you out! Get away from me, my home, my family, my kids, my health and my finances in the name of Jesus!” Wow! That was several mighty sword blows against the devil! He will flee from you! You just quoted James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:8, Philippians 4:13 and Mark 16:17. Praise the Lord! Your armor didn’t even get hit. If anything, it got stronger!

Now, go and make a habit of reading and studying the Word of God. Turn that inspiration into information! And if life is going great for you, remember to get the Word of God in you now when you don’t need it so it’s already in you when you do need it. May God bless you!