Recognize when Satan is at work
Just as the apostles worked astonishing miracles through the power of God, Simon the sorcerer was able to do astonishing things through the power of the devil.
So how did the apostles handle the situation? Did they sidestep it? Coexist peacefully with it? Say, ‘It’s no big deal’?
No, Peter confronted Simon, saying, ‘Repent…[that] your heart may be forgiven’ (v. 22 NKJV).
Today the forces of evil are real and you must know how to deal with them. Jesus said, ‘Behold, I give you the authority…over all the power of the enemy’ (Luke 10:19 NKJV).
The Bible tells us two important things about the demon-possessed man in Gerasa whom Christ healed:
1) The forces of evil within him introduced themselves as ‘Legion…for we are many’ (Mark 5:9 NIV 2011 Edition). A legion was a well-trained, fully-equipped division of the Roman army that took orders from Caesar.
2) They ‘begged Jesus…not to send them out of the area’ (v. 10 NIV 2011 Edition). That’s because they’d established a stronghold within him.
Understand this: you can’t win spiritual battles with natural weapons. True, blaming Satan for all your problems can be a cop-out. But failing to see him at work gives him the advantage every time. You must be wise and know when you’re dealing with natural, human, psychological problems. But you must also be discerning when you’re dealing with ‘principalities…powers…the rulers of the darkness…spiritual hosts of wickedness’ (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV).
How can you overcome them?
By taking up ‘the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day’ (Ephesians 6:13 NKJV).
‘He had astonished them with his sorceries.’ Acts 8:11 NKJV