Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 23 – A victim of demons

Then shouldn’t this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be released from this imprisonment on the Sabbath day? (Luke 13:16 NET)

Within this question of Jesus, is a statement – a promise.  He had just come across a woman who had such an extreme curvature of the spine that the Bible says she was bent over double.  She had come to worship in the synagogue, so we know she was a devout believer in God.  Jesus had compassion on her, knowing that she had been suffering from this condition for 18 years.  The Bible says that her disability was caused by a spirit.  A demon was working inside of her body to create her sickness.

Most average Christians will concede that demons do exist, since the Bible talks about them.  Some believe that demons no longer work in people’s lives as they did in Bible times, since we now live in a technologically advanced world, which is laughable, since spiritual beings are far more crafty and powerful than our measly inventions and scientific advances.  They are spirits, eternal beings that Jesus said would only be cast into the lake of fire after the final judgment.  They are just as prevalent as ever, and have even evolved and advanced along with us.  Other Christians however, (and I used to be one) believe that if a demon were to work in a person’s life, it would only be because that person was inherently evil and had willfully invited that demon to enter them.  

But Jesus found this poor woman coming to worship God on the Sabbath, in the synagogue.  Jesus refers to her as a “daughter of Abraham,” in other words, a true woman of faith.  So how could a woman like this have a demon in her body?  She wasn’t known to be evil or defiled, otherwise she would never have been allowed into the synagogue at all.  The only evidence of the demon’s presence, was her spinal deformity.  Jesus recognized that she was a victim of a demonic attack. A victim whom Jesus loved and had compassion on, and immediately he commanded her to be set free.  The demon was cast out, she stood up and began praising God for her healing.

In this simple story, God reveals to us these five things.  1. That demonic spirits will viciously attack anyone, even “good” people who have always believed in God.  2. That what may appear to be ordinary sicknesses or problems, can very well be caused by demons.  3. That Jesus sees these demonic attacks as a form of slavery and imprisonment, and totally against the will of God.  4. That He came to give us power over these spirits, to cast them out to be set free.  5. That people with religious spirits (like the Pharisees who criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath) will always feel threatened and angered by this authority.

I have seen this over and over again in the 28 years of my ministry.  Good-hearted believers in God are often victims of demons that cause incredible physical or emotional pain through a wide variety of problems.  They can be easily set free by receiving prayers of deliverance, coupled with building up their own faith and learning to develop a living faith that both honors God and fights the devil.  The sicknesses and problems leave along with the demons that are cast out.  But as simple as this is, the devil is crafty enough to block it from happening.  As he used religiosity in Jesus’ day, he uses is it now.  Be wise and humble and receive this promise for you today.  Whatever evil has been attacking you, learn to fight it, and use the authority that Jesus has granted us to cast it out in His name.    

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