Wrestling With Darkness

How Even Weak Christians Conquer The Powers of Darkness

Luke 22


Pastor Craig Ledbetter

31 Oct, 2010   AM

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Luke 22:52,53)


A.     It’s the world’s hour today.

B.     October is well known for being the time of the power of darkness


1.      It’s been getting dark rapidly, since the end of September

2.      But come the end of October, there is a sense of thick darkness

3.      All pagan religions marked the passing of this time with fear – especially Celtic religions


C.     How are people supposed to deal with the darkness?

D.     Is there more to it than just less and less sunlight?

E.      According to the Bible, there is!

F.      This morning I want us to take courage from watching and following the only Person who ever defeated Satan, on his day, in his territory, without any weapons other than what God gave Him!

G.     I’m talking about my Saviour! Jesus Christ!


II.    Background


A.     We Usually Only Struggle Against Physical Problems


1.      Health problems are big!

2.      Financial problems are also pretty big right now

3.      Neighbour problems – enemies, personality conflicts

4.      National problems – like wars, etc

5.      They are the most real to us

6.      But they are not the only problems, and they are not the most important


B.     There is another realm – another sphere – another kingdom – it is spiritual


1.      Jesus spent 3 ½ years, attempting to teach us that there is another realm

2.      A realm where Satan rules – the god of this world; the prince of the power of the air

3.      It is just as real as the things we see and touch! Only it is eternal!


a.       Sceptics mock it

b.      Fools toy with it

c.       But only Christians conquer it – we don’t cope; we conquer!


4.      You see, Jesus came to defeat Satan and conquer that realm of darkness! AMEN!


C.     Just How Powerful is Satan and his devils?


1.      Don’t let anyone deceive you! Satan is THE second most powerful being in the universe

2.      People have been lulled into thinking there is no devil, no God, no sin, no judgment day

3.      But there really is a perfect Creator! An almighty judge of all the earth!

4.      And there is a devil! His name is Satan! Lucifer!

5.      And BOY does he have some powers! He is no toothless lion!


a.       Satan Deceives


1)      John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

2)      He has the power of miracles, signs, wonders in the skies (Rev 13:13,14)

3)      He gives the impression that he is the most powerful, the one to be feared

4)      He tells the best lies

5)      He appears any way that he wants (2Cor 11:14)


a)      As an angel of light

b)      As your best friend

c)      As the Messiah


b.      Satan Defeats every person who resists him – no one has defeated him – except Jesus


1)      David? Defeated

2)      Solomon? Humiliated

3)      Abraham? Beaten

4)      Sarah? Crushed

5)      Samson? Trounced

6)      Peter? Trampled by the devil!

7)      But then came Jesus (John 14:30)!


c.       Satan Destroys (John 10:10)


1)      Lives

2)      Homes

3)      Marriages

4)      Friendships

5)      Churches

6)      Nations - Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

7)      Children – abuse

8)      The unborn - abortion

9)      The elderly – euthanasia


d.      Satan Feeds on:


1)      Our fears

2)      Our past memories – of our failures, and hurts

3)      Our lusts

4)      Our self reliance – our arrogance!


e.       The unsaved are completely at his beckon call - like puppets in his hand (2Tim 2:24-26)


6.      He is very effective (Mt 7:15,16)


D.     Normal Tactics That WON’T Work


1.      Ignoring Satan won’t make him go away

2.      Disbelieving Him only gives him more power


a.       Counsellors

b.      Psychiatrists

c.       Atheist Conferences


3.      Hiding From Him won’t work

4.      Resisting Him in your own strength and wisdom is foolish

5.      None of these work!


E.      So, What is a Bible Believing Christian Supposed to Do? (See 2Cor 10:4,5)

F.      We find the greatest example in Jesus on the night He was betrayed (Luke 22)


III. Message


A.     Expose Satan (Luke 22:3,21,22,31)


1.      Remember


a.       This was the time of the Passover meal. Jesus and His disciples were gathered around a table, rejoicing over Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and Pharaoh

b.      And it was during that meal, that Satan entered into Judas, as he sat eating with them

c.       Jesus pauses, and then announces that that very night, one of His own disciples would turn against Him

d.      What was Jesus doing? Exposing Satan’s “secret” plans

e.       Everyone at that table was unaware how Satan was working that evening


2.      Expose


a.       Satan’s people – he has his own people (Cf 2Cor 11:13,14)

b.      Satan’s plans

c.       Our own sinful thoughts and wrong habits

d.      Every bad habit needs to not be hidden and explained away, but exposed and brought before someone you trust that will rebuke you and help you! If you run from that, you are running fro  your only hope of freedom! Every bitter word needs to be brought into CAPTIVITY! Every bad attitude, every wandering look! Every desire for alcohol or a cigarette.


3.      Wrestle Satan with LIGHT, with TRUTH


a.       Quit hiding your sins

b.      The best thing any person can do is be caught! And have to admit their sinful habits and lies

c.       If you want REAL freedom from Satan’s grip, then go to your parents, your mate, your boss, your pastor, and tell the truth!

d.      It defeats Satan every time!

e.       Every lie you hold to, is another yoke of bondage around your neck

f.       The best thing that ever happens to a drunk is to see just what his her drinking is doing to the people around them

g.       The best thing a porn addict can ever experience is to be caught!


4.      Jesus surprised Satan by exposing him and his plans – didn’t stop him, but it hinders him!!!


B.     Humble Yourself (Luke 22:23; Mt 26:21,22)


1.      Wrestle Satan with HUMILITY

2.      Be aware that YOU could do such awful things! “Lord, could it be ME that would do such an awful thing?”

3.      Remember, Satan feeds on our arrogance!

4.      We don’t need any more people who think they don’t sin, or won’t sin!

5.      Peter thought he would NEVER hurt His Saviour (22:33,34) – Jesus’ words made Peter furious

6.      It is not YOU that will ever defeat Satan – only the blood (Rev 12:9-12)

7.      The better thing was for Peter to humble himself and let Jesus do the wrestling!


C.     Believe God (Luke 22:32)


1.      NOT believe IN God, but TRUST Him

2.      Believe that Jesus is praying for you right now – not Mary, not Abraham, not your grandmother!

3.      Believe that God has a plan! That he is going to make everything work together for good, even the dark times (Rom 8:28)!

4.      Don’t Trust Yourself (Luke 22:33,34)

5.      Learn how to trust the Lord – like learning to trust a hang-glider!


a.       Jesus actually KEEPS the believer (Psalm 91:1-8). Protects us

b.      Encamps around us (Psalm 34:7)


6.      You need to believe it!

7.      One of the proofs that you are believing it is that you SING!!!

8.      So, Wrestle Satan with confidence in Jesus Christ – our FAITH


a.       It saves a soul (Eph 2:8,9)

b.      It pushes back discouragement

c.       It upsets the devil (1Jn 2:14; 5:4)


D.     Pray (Luke 22:39-41)


1.      Learn to pray – not what to say, but how to stay in the attitude of prayer

2.      Learn to pray long – work at it – sweat it! Jesus often prayed long, even all night

3.      Wrestle darkness in prayer


a.       Wrestle depression with worship

b.      Wrestle quitting with quiet rest

c.       Wrestle anger with gratefulness

d.      Wrestle bitterness with forgiveness

e.       Wrestle temptations with strong crying


4.      We forget just how powerful our time with God is, and how it shuts out the devil, and thwarts his plans!


E.      Yield (Luke 22:42-46)


1.      Not easy!

2.      Jesus here shows the struggle

3.      But in His yielding, it was THEN that an angel helped Him

4.      Learn to yield to God – resist the devil, but always yield, give in, to God’s will – even in the dark times!


F.      Do Good (Luke 22:47-51)


1.      Do you want to HURT the devil?

2.      Then, be a blessing when you are hurting and ought to be seeking revenge

3.      Jesus COULD have fought differently! Do you not realise the power that was being held back that night?


a.       John 18:3  Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

b.      John 18:4  Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

c.       John 18:5  They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

d.      John 18:6  As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

e.       John 18:7  Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.


4.      And yet Jesus was kind!

5.      The power of kindness is overwhelming (Rom 12:19-21)


G.     Stay the Course – Stay Faithful (Luke 22:52-54)


1.      Not like Peter! He was all talk, and no walk


a.       People start well, but rarely finish

b.      Count the cost of following Jesus – it may cost you just about everything!


2.      Why stay faithful?


a.       Because we have already won (Col 1:13; 2:15)

b.      Because Satan can be bruised under YOUR feet (Rom 16:20)

c.       Because one day, one day soon, Satan will go down and never recover (Rev 20:10)

d.      Because the greatest Christian who ever lived had it as his highest goal – to finish his race with joy (Acts 20:24)

e.       Best of all, because Jesus stayed faithful! He is our example


3.      The devil LOVES quitters! It makes his job that much easier!


a.       Job’s wife

b.      Peter

c.       Thomas

d.      Demas


4.      Those who just stay faithful are the worst thorns in Satan’s side!

5.      Jesus didn’t give up – He always went a little further!


a.       When you want to quit… go a little further

b.      When you can’t pray any more… pray a little longer

c.       When you can’t believe any more… believe God just enough for another moment, and then another moment, and then just one more moment… He will answer!


6.      Stay the course


a.       In your marriage

b.      On your job

c.       In your witness to that someone who just refuses to bow the knee to Jesus

d.      In coming out of your past and defeats


IV.  Conclusion


A.     It’s the world’s hour today. How are people supposed to deal with darkness today?

B.     Yes, Satan is very powerful!

C.     But, even on the night Jesus was betrayed, Satan was defeated!

D.     Jesus shows us how to defeat Satan


1.      By Exposing him - Wrestle Satan with LIGHT, with TRUTH - Quit hiding your sins

2.      By Humbling Yourself - Wrestle Satan with HUMILITY

3.      By Believing God - NOT believe IN God, but TRUST Him.


a.       Don’t Trust Yourself

b.      Learn how to trust the Lord – like learning to trust a hang-glider!

c.       So, Wrestle Satan with confidence in Jesus Christ – our FAITH. It will save your soul


4.      By Praying - Learn to Wrestle darkness in prayer

5.      By Yielding - Learn to yield to God – even in the dark times!

6.      By Doing Good - The power of kindness is overwhelming

7.      By Staying the Course – Stay Faithful


a.       The devil LOVES quitters! It makes his job that much easier!

b.      Those who just stay faithful are the worst thorns in Satan’s side!


E.      Challenge


1.      You can’t do any of the above yourself

2.      You HAVE to have the power of the Holy Spirit – by the new birth

3.      You HAVE to yield to that power – not to fears, and old habits

4.      You have to WANT to hurt the devil