READING: Luke 10-11
If you read many popular works about spiritual warfare, you’ll find that they quickly move into “war stories” of encounters with demons. I understand why they do that, as it’s often the spectacular and the fascinating that grab attention and sell books. Even I sometimes gravitate in that direction when I’m reading. After all, who would not want to see God’s power miraculously displayed against the enemy? And who would not be excited to have their faith validated by a power encounter that reveals God’s authority over Satan?
It would be hard, I think, not to talk about it if God used me to free somebody from a demon. I hope I would share the story as a witness to the power of God, but I might be tempted to tell it to show just how powerful I am. In that sense, I’d be a lot like Jesus’ followers when they cast out demons: they returned from their missionary trip with great joy and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name” (Luke 10:17).
That fact was no surprise to Jesus, however. He knew He had been using them to bring Satan down — but He had no intention for His followers to get enamored with that power. They were to rejoice not because the demons submitted to them, but because their “names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
During this year of devotions that often focus on spiritual warfare, we need to hear Jesus’ words again. Regardless of what authority Christ gives us over demons, that’s not the reason for us to rejoice. If He empowers us, He does it so that others might be freed and His name might be magnified. He does it for His glory, not ours. We must rejoice indeed, but we do it because He saves us.
We praise Him not because we cast out demons, but instead because He does not cast us out.
- Consider this question today: are you more fascinated by stories of warfare victory or by the story of God’s amazing grace?
- If you are a follower of Christ, rejoice that your name is written in heaven. Sing His praises throughout the day.
PRAYER: “God, thank You for writing my name in heaven.”
TOMORROW'S READING: Luke 12-13