In Jesus’ Name
Scripture has many promises concerning the authority and power of Jesus’ name:
Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
1 Corinthians 6:11 “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Acts 4:30 “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Mark 16:17 “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues.”
Salvation, healing, wholeness and deliverance are all found in Jesus name. In addition, Jesus made some specific promises concerning asking Father for things:
John 14:13-14 “I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.”
John 15:16 “Whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you.”
John 16:23 “Very truly I tell you, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.”
Anyone who has ever asked God for a new car and tagged “In Jesus’ name…” at the end of the prayer knows that this means something different than simply adding a tag line to the end of a wish list. Unfortunately, that means that just saying “In Jesus’ name,” doesn’t actually mean we are praying in His name. So, what does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name?
We get a clue what “In Jesus’ Name,” means in 2 Corinthians 5:20: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are actually acting in the capacity of Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. This is an important concept to understand because it helps us to pray correctly. Let’s look at what ambassadors do:
•An ambassador represents the full authority of a king, kingdom, or country. When an ambassador speaks in his official capacity it carries the full legal weight and authority of the country he represents.
•An ambassador represents the agenda and/or interests of his king or country. He does not represent his own interests or agenda. If an ambassador misrepresents his country and misuses his authority to accomplish is own personal agenda, it could be interpreted as treason. When an ambassador speaks or makes a request or makes a statement, it should be just as if the top level leaders of his country were making that same statement or request.
This is what it means to pray in Jesus’ name. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are actually representing Jesus and His Kingdom. Accordingly, we are making the same requests and declarations that Jesus himself would make. It makes sense, then, that the Father will honor any request made in Jesus’ name. On the other hand, God has no obligation to honor requests made from our own best thinking or for the purpose of fulfilling our own agendas.
When we authentically pray in Jesus name, it is a form of spiritual warfare because we are advancing the Kingdom of God and diminishing the works of the devil.
Jesus’ mission is now our mission. The big picture of Jesus’ mission is spoken of in 1 John 3:8, ” The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” Destroying the works of the devil included, of course, dying for our sins and rising again from the dead, breaking the power of sin and death forever. It included other things as well. The influence of the devil on this world is extensive, and anything that destroys his work and influence is our mission because it was Jesus’ mission. We must understand that anytime we are carrying out His mission, we are engaging in spiritual warfare.
Often when we talk about spiritual warfare, we think about the demonic. And, anyone doing ministry will sometimes be confronted by the demonic. It would be naive and foolish to think that the demons Jesus and the early church confronted now simply sit back and do nothing. It would also be foolish to think that the demonic only operates in 3rd world cultures. Demons are still alive and active, and they still oppose the Kingdom of God. So, sometimes spiritual warfare is engaging the demonic in Jesus’ name as we bind and cast out demons.
Even though confronting the demonic is actually a normal part of ministry, many Believers are reluctant to engage. This aspect of spiritual warfare seems to be, on one hand, ignored completely by many Christians -either due to fear or ignorance.
On the other hand, some Believers seem too willing to confront the demonic and do so with arrogance and misunderstandings. We do not want to be ignorant, prideful, or fearful. So it is good to understand a few basic realities.
Demonization is a more accurate term than demon possession. Possession ( the Greek phrase “Echo Daimonion”) implies ownership and complete control, which is rarely the case. Demonization (the Greek word “Daimonizomai”) on the other hand, implies vexation, torment, and affliction. It is not uncommon even for Believers to be afflicted and vexed. It is rare for anyone, however, to be possessed. In fact of the many places in the New Testament where the English translation says “demon possessed,” only one place uses the phrase Echo Daimonion. All others use the word Daimonizomai.
Demons cannot be caught as if they are a disease; demons may only enter where they have legal rights. Demonization occurs as people cooperate with, participate with, or obey the temptations offered by demons. Consequently, people who are demonized are not simply victims of demons, they are participants with demons. That is not to say they are knowingly participating; rather, they are deceived into thinking that whatever is being suggested is a right and good solution to their problem.
Although demonization is an issue, the demon is often not the primary issue -the issue is that often the demon has become a perceived solution to a problem.
There is no need to shout at, argue with or try to reason with a demon. A demon must leave when the legal rights (the reason it is there) have been removed. Legal rights are removed as the person who is afflicted takes ownership in his/her participation and has a change of mind and heart -true repentance.
Occasionally demons act out and manifest in obvious ways during deliverance. Most of the time, however, there is no dramatic or observable spectacle; the best evidence of deliverance are things like long-term increased intimacy with God, freedom from besetting sins, and internal peace.
So, sometimes spiritual warfare is engaging the demonic in Jesus’ name as we bind and cast out demons.
Other times, however, spiritual warfare is giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, praying for the sick in Jesus’ name, or showing kindness to the poor, or confronting injustice, or simply being kind to cashier at the store.
Spiritual warfare is anything we do that confronts and destroys the work of the devil.