Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
In your life and my life, one way demons sometimes manifest is through other people. We see a great illustration of that in Revelation during the great tribulation, when demons will actually work through human beings to launch a tremendous slaughter against God’s people. We do not have to wait until the tribulation to witness demons using other people, however. One of my most vivid memories is of walking through the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. If you have been in that museum and seen those photographs, it is an experience you will never forget. You think, “How could a human being do that to another human being?” The answer is right there in the question–it was not one human being alone; there was a demonic influence behind Adolf Hitler’s actions. Other horrific crimes you read about today are also demonically inspired.
But many times demons do not have to go to such extremes to use other people. Sometimes their work is much more subtle. For example, one thing demons want to do is to deceive you into disobeying God, and that deception may come wearing a suit or a skirt. Maybe you are going through a particularly rocky time in your marriage, and one day you run into an old flame. Before you know it, you have received an overt invitation to immorality. How did that person just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Demonic influence. That is a demon using another person to deceive you into disobedience.
Other times demons use people to discourage you. Have you ever received an awful email or letter that so weighed you down, you did not want to do anything? That kind of paralyzing discouragement comes from the evil one. Does that mean that anytime anybody criticizes us it is demonically inspired? Of course not. Proverbs 13:18 says there are some positive things that can come from criticism: “Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.” Whenever God is the one using other people to bring criticism into our lives, that criticism has a positive quality to it. But when criticism is based on lies and bathed in bitterness, that is not coming from God–that is demonic activity trying to discourage you from accomplishing God’s purpose in your life. In the same way, if you feel the need to correct another Christian, be sure you do it with the purpose of building them up, not tearing them down. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What Demons Want To Do To You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.