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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#794.THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS (17/4/23)


This week, we are excited to continue our nine-week series, 'Praying Together,' exploring the transformative power and profound significance of communal prayer. Based on the teachings of Mike Betts and his book and course, 'The Prayers of Many,' our series aims to deepen our understanding and practice of praying together as a community.

In this week's devotionals, we will draw upon the powerful analogy of eviction to illustrate how we can actively engage in limiting and ultimately stopping the negative and destructive forces of demonic powers.

‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10)

Summary: We must understand the nature of this fallen world so as to limit and stop the devil’s will to steal, kill and destroy.


To watch this devotional please go to:


Mike Betts poignantly illustrates the state of our world through the analogy of a thief:

‘Imagine a thief who has broken into your house and is now claiming squatter’s rights. The intruder helps himself to the contents of your fridge and then sits on your sofa with his feet up, eating your food and drinking your best wine. He flicks through the channels on your TV and throws the rubbish on the floor. He’s not just behaving as if he owns the place, but as if no one owned the place. What arrogance! We would, rightly, feel outraged at such behaviour if we were the injured party. We would, with some urgency, seek to have such a person served with a legal notice of eviction; to have them removed from where they do not belong and to have them stopped from behaving in a way they have no right to behave, with things they have no right to use.’ (Mike Betts)

This is the condition of our world. Through mankind’s rebellion, somehow, demonic powers are now ruling and ruining this world. We are told of Satan’s rule:

‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’ (2 Corinthians 4:4)
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.’ (Ephesians 2:1-2)
‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ (Ephesians 6:12)
‘The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.’ (1 John 5:19)

Teaching on Ephesians 6:12, Lloyd-Jones said:

‘When you say that a Christian is not longer in ‘the word’ you are speaking in a spiritual sense. That is the connotation of the word ‘world as used in the Apostle in our text. It conveys this spiritual meaning. It refers to the world apart from God, or the world rebellion against God, the world as organised apart from the laws and government of God. What the Apostle is saying there is that we are confronted and opposed by powers that are really governing and controlling that world, the world in opposition against God, the world outside of God and His blessing… Our business is to be ‘in the world, but not of it’. These ‘powers are the rulers, the governors, the controllers of that mind, that outlook, which we call ‘the world’. (Lloyd-Jones, The Christian Warfare, Page 59)

Satan is ‘the god of this age’. Everyone who has not entered the Kingdom of God is in the Kingdom of darkness. We read about the transference of kingdoms that happens at conversion:

‘For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.’ (Colossians 1:13-14)

We see the destructive nature of Satan in the world all around us. The aims of his rule can be summarised in the words of Jesus:


‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10)

If Satan’s rule is destructive, Jesus, on the other hand, came to give life and life to the full. Our aim should be to Join with Christ to limit and stop Satan's will to steal, kill, and destroy through prayer.


RESPONSE

This week we are considering how we can evict Satan. It’s crucial that we understand the nature of our world and how we can play our part, through prayer, to limit and stop His will to steal, kill and destroy. This sounds heavy but we cannot say ‘peace, peace when there is no peace’!

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. NOTICES

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


2. ICEBREAKER

What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?

3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER

During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.

I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook

If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.


Please download the course handbook from:




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