What Demons Want To Do To You

To keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me.
–2 Corinthians 12:7

Every Halloween, there are people who put on a red suit, horns, and a tail and carry a pitchfork. Others dress up as Satan’s assistants, demons. When they ring the doorbell, people open the door and laugh–and so do Satan and his demons. You see, far from being insulted by such caricatures, Satan and his demons love comic characterizations of themselves. They know that as long as you are laughing at them, you cannot fear them. And if you do not fear them, then you will not be prepared for their attacks against you. But demons are real, formidable forces, and they are helping Satan carry out his plan to discourage you from worshiping God, distract you from serving God, or deceive you into disobeying God.

There are several ways that demons exercise their authority in the world and in your life. First of all, demons operate through nature. In Ephesians 2:2, Satan is called the “prince of the power of the air.” That is, God has given Satan and his demons limited authority over the natural elements in this world, such as wind and rain and hurricanes and tornadoes. People often ask me, “Why does God allow these natural disasters that destroy so many people?” The Bible says that Satan can use forces of nature in order to bring discouragement into our lives. Having lived in a city that was devastated by a tornado, I can tell you firsthand how discouraging it can be to Christians to see everything they have destroyed. Remember the story of Job? The Bible says Satan, or one of Satan’s demons, brought a great storm that destroyed the house where Job’s children were, and all ten children were killed. Satan and his demons were trying to tempt Job into cursing God. But never forget that ultimately even Satan and his demons are under God’s control. Nothing can happen in your life that has not first of all passed through the perfect, loving will of God for your life. Even though we do not understand it, God is ultimately in control.

Second, demons sometimes manifest through physical illness. Now, to blame every sickness on demons is neither biblical nor logical. In fact, the book of Mark distinguishes between those who were sick and those who were under demonic influence: “When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. . . . And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons.” (1:32, 34). Not every illness is demonically inspired. But some illnesses are. In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul talked about his “thorn in the flesh,” which was probably some kind of physical infirmity. Whom did Paul blame for that thorn in the flesh? He said it was sent by a messenger of Satan–a demon. But then he went on to say, in essence, “But God is using this for a good purpose, so that I do not become proud and so that the power of God might be manifest in my life.” Yes, it was a demonically inspired illness, but ultimately it was under God’s control.

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.

 

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