Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11 – Christians on the edge

“Shouldnʼt this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be released from this imprisonment?”  (Luke 13:10-16  NET)

There are seven specific examples in the Bible of people who were set free from demons by Jesus — seven example where we either know the name of the person, or some details about their life and problems.  Jesus cast out many more, but we have no specifics about their lives.  This example in Luke 13 is one of the seven, and an interesting one, because it is one of two that occurred in a synagogue on the Sabbath.  What does that mean for us today?  It would be the modern day equivalent of casting out a demon from someone in the Sunday morning church service — an unthinkable thing for the large majority of Christians.  And yet it happened with Jesus, and it happens today too.  If we refuse to consider this we are turning our backs on Jesus’ example, and on a class of people in the Church that are in dire need of God’s help and power.

Jesus called this woman a daughter of Abraham, which may have been a reference to her Jewish ancestry, but it is more likely that He used this term in the correct manner, and was referring to her faith and sincerity.  Though she believed in God, something in her life had allowed the devil to enter and stay, and make her suffer for 18 long years.  Instead of criticizing and condemning her, Jesus as always had compassion on her and set her free.  

It is not biblical to say, “I gave my life to Jesus, so the devil can’t touch me anymore.” Throughout the Bible, war is a big part of any believer’s life.  In the Old Testament war included physical battles between armies as well as the inner battle of each person, whereas the New concentrates on our inner, spiritual battles. We are encouraged to be good soldiers, told to put on the armor of God, encouraged to fight the good fight of faith, to resist Satan firm in our faith, told to be on the alert because our adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, and told about the weapons of our warfare… No one, beginner or veteran in the faith, can relax when it comes to doing battle with Satan and demons.  If Jesus was tempted and attacked by the devil and demons throughout His life, how can we expect to escape the same treatment?

When Christians forget the Spirit’s command to fight the good fight of faith, and relax in faith thinking that Jesus’ defeat of Satan is enough, they turn into Christians on the edge — on the edge of God’s blessings, barely holding on to their faith, frustrated and doubtful.  Instead of being “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” they become Christians that are not even free.  Though Jesus died and rose again, defeating the devil and demons for all time, they either neglect to take a hold of God’s authority because they are uninformed, or they ignore it because it doesn’t agree with their doctrinal beliefs.  Their way turns them into easy targets of the devil.

Don’t remain on the edge of God’s blessings, make sure you’re at the center.

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