Have you ever had all hell break loose? Sure you have! We’ve all had days when it seems like everything that can go wrong does and we become overwhelmed. Sometimes days like this are just a bunch of random things going wrong, but other days there are demonic forces at work to bring chaos into our life. In this article I want to talk about the greatest response of faith when spiritual war rages.
Before I describe the greatest response of faith, I want to share how many people do spiritual warfare. Many of us spend large amounts of time binding and rebuking the devil. It’s certainly not wrong to rebuke the devil, Jesus told us to do so. It is wrong, however, when Satan becomes more of a focus of our attention than Jesus is.
Since the fall of man, Satan has always sought to be at the center of our attention. If he can do that through getting us to commit sin, he is happy to do that. If he does that by causing all hell to break loose and getting us to spend more time rebuking him than worshipping Jesus, he’s happy to do that too. Either way, he’s the focus.
Let’s look at Matthew 18:18, which is a famous spiritual warfare passage. As we study it I want to provide a different perspective than what is typically taught.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
This is passage is often used to teach people to bind the devil. I certainly believe in binding Satan and causing him to cease and desist in his activities. There are multiple scriptural precedents for this (Luke 13:11-12, Mark 9:14-27, Acts 16:16-18) and I’ve seen this principle work in my own life.
While I have heard hundreds of sermons from Matthew 18:18 about binding the devil, I’ve never heard one sermon in my 40 years about loosing heaven. I think this is something we need to consider because only half the verse tells us to bind, the other half tells us to loose or release something. God wants us to release heaven into the earth. This is why Matthew 6:10 says your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
This brings up an important question. How do we loose heaven? I certainly don’t want to pretend to fully understand how to release the realm of heaven into the the earth, but I do want to share something God showed me recently from the book of Revelation. There is a ton of action in the book of Revelation. First, John beholds Jesus and falls down like a dead man, then he writes 7 letters to 7 churches in Asia, then he writes about 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls of wrath before eventually getting to the defeat of Satan and the antichrist when Jesus returns. That’s a quick summary with a lot of detail left out, but you get the idea. The book of Revelation is busy!
In the midst of all the activity, there is an important interlude in Revelation 4 where I think we can get a glimpse of heaven and how to loose heaven into the earth. In this chapter, Jesus invites John into the throne room. John sees a rainbow around the throne which symbolizes peace (Heaven’s atmosphere is one of peace). He then beholds 24 elders and 4 living creatures worshiping Jesus non-stop. Look at Revelation 4:9-11:
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
The atmosphere of heaven is one of continuous worship! The focus of everyone is on Jesus. This is what we born for. We become like what worship and as Jesus becomes our focus, His realm (Heaven) begins to transform ours (the earth).
Mark 5:1-20 tells the story of Gaderine Demoniac who was possessed by a legion of demons. Most Bible scholars believe a legion is 1,000 or more demons. They were creating havoc in his life and causing him to live in tombs and cut himself and cry out all night long. This man was living in chaos! Look what he did, however, when he saw Jesus:
6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.
In the midst of the chaos, the man began to worship Jesus. I believe this began to change the atmosphere that surrounded him. The demons were still there, but as he began to get a glimpse of Jesus, his life began to align. He recognized that Jesus was more powerful than the demons and when Jesus spoke the demons left. A few verses later, he’s in his right mind and Jesus tells this man to go tell others about what He had done for him.
There is a power in worship that many of us don’t appreciate. It’s more than just hearing music or singing songs. Worship is where we focus our heart and center our priorities. When we slow down and worship in the midst of all hell breaking loose in our lives, we agitate the devil. We give to Jesus what Satan has always wanted and this causes him to flee. The greatest response of faith when the war rages isn’t to immediately rebuke Satan, it’s to worship Jesus! We then rebuke Satan if Jesus leads us to out of the intimacy! Keep Jesus the priority! He deserves all of our worship!
If you’d like to learn more about worship, check out this series I taught called Lifestyle of Worship at Grace Life Church.