March 25 I Sunday
“All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What words these are! With authority and power He gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!’”
As believers in Jesus, we have entered a cosmic war zone. People in full-time ministry are especially vulnerable, but all Christians experience some measure of spiritual warfare. This is because if there is anything Satan wants more than to see us, God’s favoured creation, torn away from Him, it is to stop the evangelistic work God is doing in the world.
The devil’s strategy to hinder God’s saving mission is often more subtle than we realize. C.S. Lewis explains, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils—one is to disbelieve their existence; the other is to believe and feel an unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.” When people totally disbelieve the existence of demons, as many in our materialistic age do, Satan is free to cause havoc because they do not suspect a greater power at work behind the scenes. Conversely, when people obsess over the demonic, they tend to be drawn further into this realm of darkness, which is forbidden in Scripture.
Neither of these possibilities are a laughing matter, but we can take confidence in the fact that we never see Jesus afraid in Scripture when He encounters the demonic. It is always the forces of evil and darkness that are afraid of Him. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” When Jesus was preaching in a synagogue in Capernaum, a man possessed by a demon cried out, “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:34). The demon recognized who Jesus is, what He is capable of and how great the measure of His authority. As such, when Jesus commanded the demon to leave this man, it immediately obeyed.
Hollywood portrays the demonic as something to be terrified of, but we can take heart because as John so powerfully wrote, “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Though spiritual warfare may test and try us, our wisest course of action when faced with satanic attack is to fall back on Jesus and His Word. When our minds are set on Christ’s authority and the things above, we start walking in the victory of Jesus Christ who by His crucifixion and resurrection has already defeated Satan, sin and death on our behalf!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You and praise You for sharing Your victory with me. I trust Your power and authority to see me through whatever temptations the devil confronts me with. Thank You, Lord.