Our ability to defeat the enemy in our personal lives is based on our reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to God because of Calvary.
In the power of the living Christ upon the throne we can stand as victors in the face of all the hosts of darkness. But you must never allow yourself to look at the enemy so as to blot out your clear consciousness of the person of the victorious Christ (see Eph. 1:17-23).
God raised Jesus from the dead and lifted Him right through the plane of the power of the air to the place above "principality and power" (Eph. 1:21, NKJV). He made Him to sit at His right hand, and "He put all things under His feet" (v. 22).
Furthermore, "[God] gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (v. 23). Therefore, Christ is above all rule and authority and dominion and power. He is absolute and complete Conqueror.
HIS VICTORY IS OURS
In Ephesians 2, Paul the apostle describes the condition of the human race and the work done for believers in uniting them to the risen Lord: "And you, He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (v. 1). You cannot save yourself. But the Holy Spirit comes to you, and tells you that Christ died for you—took your place on the cross—so that, "through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14). Believe in this atoning sacrifice of the Son of God, even His death for you; and there will unfold another life, for He will put into you new life—the gift of eternal life.
By the working of the Spirit of God, you are quickened with that life as you accept His death for you and your death in Him. And just as Christ was raised from the dead into newness of life, you too, joined to Him, will be able to sit with Him in His place of victory over sin and Satan.
You were raised with Christ in His resurrection life and taken with Him to His ascension place. Your God-given place is there (see Eph. 2:4-6).
You are to live in the clear air above the powers of darkness, and not in the mists and the darkness of the course of this world. Yet you say, "I do not feel that I experience it!"
This experience is first a faith position. If you will apprehend it, and take it, the Holy Spirit will teach you how to abide in your position until it becomes a fact in consciousness.
LOOKING TO JESUS
God the Holy Ghost is preparing His people for glory and, like a great master workman, He is working behind the curtain, behind the scaffolding. You do not know what He is doing, but the building is going up throughout the whole world.
What we must do now is to get our eyes off the darkness around us—a darkness that is deepening on the world—and live in personal victory up to the very utmost of the light God has given us. If we could look from the throne of God down upon the world, we should see the Holy Spirit moving here and there, breaking out wherever He can get an outlet.
Be not afraid of the persecution and the scoffing, the opposition and the rejection. It is the prince of the air, the spirit that works in every disobedient child. By the stones of Earth God is allowing the enemy to drive His children out from the earthly realm, to live in heaven. You know that if you can get a prop on Earth you will lean on it; so God allows the enemy to sweep them away, and gladly does the enemy use His permission (see Job 1-42).
Now that we have looked at the glory side, let us examine the foundation again, and see if we are grounded on the rock of Calvary. You must fully understand that you cannot share in Christ's resurrection unless you also have a share in the fellowship of His death. Your foundation is in His death—the place where you must be rooted and planted, so that no storm will draw you out.
They say that the oak tree lengthens its roots in storms. If you are like an oak, then God will permit many storms to root you. The stronger the power of the divine life in you, the more will God put it to the proof; and as He puts it to the test, it strengthens at the roots.
MORE THAN CONQUERORS
Here is the secret of victory over sin. It is not you cutting off sin. It is you apprehending your place in Christ's death, accounting yourself dead to sin and allowing the Holy Spirit to then bring into fact the internal work of deliverance.
The Holy Spirit never fails to bear witness to Calvary. The instant you desire, with full purpose of heart, to be delivered from the power of sin, there is no sin of deepest hue that does not fall away from you there, and you are set free.
Paul wrote: "For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:10-11).
Your part is to reckon it, even though you do not understand. To reckon not only that you died with Him, but that you are now, at this very moment, "dead indeed to sin" as far as your choice and your will go. Then—"Do not let sin reign" (Rom. 6:12).
This is the only way of victory over Satan, for it is through sin—known or unknown—that he holds us, and it is only as we take our stand on the truth of God's Word—when the devil attacks with his temptation to sin, or when you want deliverance from sin—that you can triumphantly say, "On the ground of my death with Christ, I am now dead to that sin, and it shall not reign." Then the Holy Spirit applies the power of Christ's death, breaks the connection with sin, and you lose even the desire for it.
And, if you want victory over the enemy holding another soul in bondage, before you deal with that person make sure you are on solid footing. The only place where the enemy is powerless in on Calvary ground.
Hide yourself in the death of the Lord Jesus. In the name of Jesus rise today, and "Do not let sin reign." Take your place. Reckon you are dead to sin and cast it off. We are to be overcomers, going right ahead and burning the bridges behind us. We cannot look back. It must be on toward the prize!
Adapted from Life in the Spirit by Jessie Penn-Lewis, copywright 2003. Published by Christian Literature Crusade. Used by permission.
By David Fessenden
JESSIE PENN-LEWIS (1861-1927) was physically frail, but she made up for it in spiritual strength. She had a remarkable ministry that stressed the centrality of the cross of Christ in the life and experience of the Christian.
Penn-Lewis first took her place as a sinner before that cross at the age of 21, and proclaimed its message tirelessly from that time on, not only in her native England, but also in Scandinavia, Russia and North America. Her writings, for which she is probably best known, include more than 20 books. She was a witness to the Welsh Revival of 1904–1905 and author of Awakening in Wales (Christian Literature Crusade), which was a clear and unvarnished record of the facts concerning this outpouring of God's Spirit.
During the visitation in Wales, she saw the rise of many extreme practices, which brought about the decline of the revival. This led her, along with Welsh Revival leader Evan Roberts, to write the spiritual warfare classic War on the Saints, which reveals Satan's many methods of spiritual deception used to entrap the believer.One of her most influential works, The Cross of Calvary, is described as a classic on the atonement.
In 1927, three weeks after speaking at a series of meetings in Wales, Penn-Lewis died on August 15. She was 66.