When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.
When you think of exorcism, what do you picture? Maybe a ritual, a Latin incantation, hours and hours of ranting and raving. Most of what you hear or see about exorcism has its basis more in Hollywood than in the Word of God. And the truth is, even exorcism as found in the Bible is the most ineffective way to deal with Satan and his demons. In Luke 11, Jesus explained that if a demon leaves a man and later finds the man still open to demon possession, the demon can bring back seven more demons and retake control. You see, the responsibility for living a life that is free from satanic influence does not rest with somebody else; that power rests with you and me. We are responsible for keeping our lives free from demonic influence. James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” How do we do that? This week we are going to look at six very practical ways to keep Satan on the run in your life.
The most foundational thing you and I can do to make sure that our lives are free from Satan’s influence is to receive Christ as our Savior. Becoming a Christian does not prevent Satan’s influence in your life, but it does prevent Satan’s possession of your life. Let me illustrate the difference for you. Let’s say that I decide to open up a hamburger stand. Because I own the hamburger stand, I can decide whether we are going to serve mustard or mayonnaise on those hamburgers. I can decide what time we open, what time we close, and how much we are going to charge. On the other hand, if I own a hundred shares in the McDonald’s Corporation, how much authority do I have over McDonald’s? Very little. I can maybe speak up at a shareholders’ meeting. But my influence over that vast hamburger chain is limited by the number of shares that I own in the company. I cannot call the shots.
If you are a Christian, Satan can influence your life, but his influence is determined by how many shares of your life he owns. Whatever part of your life is not under God’s control is open to being under Satan’s control, whether it is your marriage, your friendships, your relationships, your career, or your money. He can influence you, but he can never possess you. If you are a Christian, he can never call the shots in your life because you are possessed by God. Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit seals you. That seal is a mark of ownership. The moment you trust in Christ as your Savior, the title policy of your life is transferred from Satan to God. You are owned by God; therefore, you cannot be owned by Satan. The single most important decision you can make that will drive a stake through Satan’s plan to destroy you is to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Using Your Divine Defense” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
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