Am I agreeing with others in faith and according to God’s will, in prayer?
18 "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
INSIGHT: The context here (v. 18), is that of sin, forgiveness, and church discipline, and means that if the Church is walking in the regulations of Christ, whatever decisions they make (binding or loosing as in an agreement), with regard to discipline, He will honor in heaven. This is similar to what He tells the disciples in John 20:23. See also use of bind in (Heb 2:2-3). Also, we see heaven blesses us (v.19), when we seek group agreement and accountability in prayer requests. This is pretty obvious, so I wish to focus on the misinterpretation of this passage that is prevalent among many.
Many take this verse out of context and think they can bind and loose Satan and his demons. I used to believe this too, but I now know the truth. Satan (the strong man) has already been bound in the life of believers, by Jesus Christ (Mark 3:27). Satan’s house is the world because all dominion was given to him (Luke 4:6), and Jesus entered “the strong man’s house” and tied him up and is robbing his possessions (saving sinners by His Spirit). Our greatest weapon is firm faith, and purity of heart, not speaking words against his “kingdom” (Jd 1:9).
I have heard many people say, “I bind you Satan and your demons.” If anyone could truly bind Satan, then we could have all gone home by now. Do you get this? If you could bind Satan’s demons, then why is there so much trouble in the lives of those who claim to be binding Him? Often, they have more rotten fruit in their lives, and in the lives of those they are “binding” on behalf of, than you can imagine. It’s as if it has the reverse effect.
Where in the Bible does it tell us to bind demons or Satan? It tells us to cast them out of someone’s body, but casting out is not binding. Do we see Paul saying, “I bind you Satan to silence in this church…I bind you demons to the pit!” Does Paul say in 2 Cor 12:8 that he tried binding Satan three times, or asking the Lord to remove the tormentor? Why didn’t Paul just bind the devil in these instances (Gal 4:13, 1 Thes 2:18, 2 Tim 4:18) Why the need for God to crush Satan in Rom 16:20, when they could have just bound him? Instead of putting on the armor in Eph 6:11-17, or resisting Him in James 4:7, why not just speak out and bind him to the pit? We forget that God is in complete control of all angels, demons, and Satan, and He has a very good reason to keep the devil on the loose. He uses the devil, as a tool in His hands, to shape us, correct us, discipline us, humble us, etc. Are we to think that we can bind one of God’s primary instruments for conforming us into the image of Christ? Clearly Paul didn’t think so (1 Cor 5:5, 1 Tim 1:20).
One time I was struggling in a gray area (not in the Bible). My conscience was being violated, which meant for me it was a sin (Rom 14:23). One night, I woke up from a terrifying nightmare that a demon (masquerading as a dog) was sucking the breath out of me while I was lying in my bed. The second I woke up, I knew in my spirit that God, in His mercy, allowed a demon to touch me in my sleep again, because of my disobedience. I repented, and thanked God for the discipline. The fear of that experience motivated me to stop. Now imagine someone trying to rebuke and bind the demons from touching me. It would be a complete waste of time and breath. What we need to keep the demons at bay, is purity of heart. You can pray all day for Satan to leave me alone, but if I am leaving the door open through ungodly living, it will make no difference. If you want to bind demons in your life, keep your breastplate of righteousness on, and live godly. Many are trying to rebuke the devil in their life, not realizing they are trying to resist the discipline of the Lord in their life. Remember, Christ is in us, and Satan cannot do anything to us that we do not open the door to, or that God doesn’t allow (1 Sam 16:14, Job 1:12, Luke 22:31-32).