Ultimately, the devil wants us to lust after worldly or even satanic power, for this will lead us away from the noble work of the Spirit of God. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 says that “the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” So yes, the devil does show up with his own brand of power, but such power is only designed to deceive, to mislead, and to corrupt. Of such false and deceptive power we read of its demise in Christ in “Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” So if we remain in Christ through the Spirit of God, if we remain true to the Gospel and walk in the true and real and uncorrupted power of God then the devil has no power over us!
So let us reflect and consider when the Lord said we are drunk on power. After all, power is intoxicating. The problem with power is that it corrupts, and is misleads, and causes errors in the way we think, act and speak. And ultimate power corrupts ultimately. And when we speak of intoxication, we speak of being under the control of something, and thus we need to be very careful that we are not being controlled by the lust and desire for power. And we see such a manifestation of fleshly/carnal power when we move out of the will and Sovereignty of God to pursue our will, desires, needs, and even lust. This is when we begin to rebuke pandemics out of the will of God or want to take authority over the weather and who knows what other strange acts of selfish power. Everything we are called to do should be in accordance with God’s will, never ours.
Oh yes, we are called to move in the power and authority of God, but the emphasis is on GOD’S POWER and AUTHORITY. Never ours. We need to constantly move in the will of God, in His Word and Truth. And we can only do so when we are led completely and utterly step by step by the Spirit of God. Romans 1:16 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Oh yes, we need to be empowered by God, thus intoxicated by the Spirit, so that we may rejoice in the Gospel and not be ashamed of its power and majesty. Romans 15 says”18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation.” Oh yes, in the Spirit of God we are indeed true to the Gospel, to the eternal Kingdom, and the Lord of lords.
Power is intoxicating. It is a reality. This is why so many people are drawn to the dark spiritual side, such as the occult, for they crave to wield power. Yet such power only destroys, kills, and hurts. God’s power is not carnal (2 Corinthians 10), for it deals with acts of truth, love, kindness, hope, redemption, and restoration. It is not a display of power for the sake of being powerful, but to glorify God and to serve a glorifying divine purpose. God displayed many times His incredible power in the Old Testament, and such power was many times manifested through His servants, but it was always done for a divine and sovereign reason and purpose. Such power never originated within man but flowed from God to man where needed. Yet we in the church think we can wield such power like a weapon just because we are servants of God. And a lot has to do with the idea that we are powerful gods. It is the old lie of the devil in the Garden who seduced Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden fruit so that they may be like God. Yet, we are not gods. We are His servants – adopted sons and daughters – and yes the power of God flows in us, but all power rests in God, not in us. In my name, there is no power. Only in the name of Jesus. All power and authority belong to God (Matthew 6).
Corruption of power allows for witchcraft or the carnal flesh to slip in. When we try to exert power beyond the will of God or His presence and blessing, we either try to do so through the flesh or even worse, by tapping into another power (demonic). We often witness the terrible manipulation of prophecy, because prophecy has been used these days as a weapon of power to influence and to even draw power. We need to thus test all prophecy and every spirit, for a lot of prophecies these days are not even from God, and thus become a form of divination inspired by an unclean spirit. The lust for power allows us to slip away from God’s presence. After all, we cannot manipulate God or twist His arm to fulfill our desires or will. Oh yes, witchcraft is very much a reality in the church and does not just come in the form of rebellion or idolatry. It comes also in the form of spiritual abuse, control, and manipulation. It comes directly from tapping into another power – dark and twisted – to exert power. Thus the reality of “1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
Sadly, we see a lot of ‘deceptive power’ being exerted in churches through the leadership in terms of trying to control and manipulate the flock. This is done for the congregation to bow to their wishes, demands, and desires. This is for self-serving purposes. Years ago the Lord led me down a path of understanding how many churches are in danger of operating like a cult or a sect rather than the place of true worship. Control is key to a cult, for it indoctrinates people to believe something that might not even be true. As children of God, we are not called to be indoctrinated by anything, except being led by the Word of God. Power does corrupt, and such corruption is infectious, contagious, and very dangerous. Such a display of power to influence is rife and is simply spiritual abuse and exploitation. In the end, people would rather follow the spiritual leader out of fear or even confusion rather than God. We are called to follow the Kingdom and the King of such a kingdom, and not man and his kingdom of pleasures and delight. In Acts 5 the disciples cried they must rather obey God and not man. We are disciples of Jesus and followers of His Kingdom and not the disciple of any person or his/her kingdom/empire.
The Lord has also shown me how we have formed our doctrines of demons, erroneously labeling spirits and providing them with all kinds of names and identities. Why? As soon as we create something of identity, thus shaping and forming it, then we have power over it. What you create, you control. A lot of demonic teachings and ideas are nonsense, yet we have created such doctrines and theology because it makes us feel in control, thus in power. So we have ‘created’ certain demons to have control (power) over them. Oh yes, demons are very real and so is hell, but there are terrible misunderstandings in the church regarding demons. Yes, they have names and functions, but a lot of what we know forms part of demonology, which is the study of demons or demonic belief. Yet you will often find such a study involves different religions and is hardly based on Scripture. We are called not to follow demonology but the Word of God. Be careful of this trap.