Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Jesus’s ministry was marked by supernatural power. When He taught, He not only stirred up the people, but He also stirred up the demonic world. Luke 4:33-35 tells us, “In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet and come out of him!’ And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm.” The Bible has a lot to say about demons. I will point out three truths about demons and then relate them to our purpose in life.
First, demons are real. Some people say, “Demons were just a primitive attempt to explain mental illness.” Well, if that’s true, then Jesus ought to be put in a straitjacket because He conversed with these demons. If demons are not real, then why was Jesus talking to them? Demons are real. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Demons are angels who followed Lucifer in his revolt against God and were cast into the world and into the underworld. They are Satan’s assistants to carry out his plan.
Second, demons can control people. I believe many of the horrendous, unspeakably evil acts that people commit against other human beings are caused by demonic activity. Make no mistake about it: demons can control and influence people. Now, can a Christian be possessed by a demon? It depends what you mean by “possessed.” If you mean, “Can a person be owned by a demon?” then the answer is no. Ephesians 1:13 says that when we became Christians we were sealed with the Holy Spirit, so we are God’s possessions. However, Christians can be influenced by demons. How does that happen? Any part of your life that is not controlled by the Holy Spirit is opened to be controlled by demons.
Third, demons are under Christ’s authority. These demons were obviously fearful of Jesus. The demon said to Jesus, “I know who You are–the Holy One of God!” Demons believe every word of the Bible. They believe the right things intellectually about Jesus. They know He is the Son of God. These demons recognized the authority of Jesus.
How do we make sure that we are not under the control of Satan or demons? Remember what James said: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). If you are a Christian, you have the same supernatural power Jesus had to rid yourself of any demonic influence and cause Satan and his demons to run from you. That’s the power that we have today.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “24” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.