Jul8WedJuly 8, 2020
Greetings fellow saints,
Grace and peace to you all.
Ever do something you thought was really great - God was with you, and it was pretty miraculous - you expect to get some positive feedback, maybe even a little praise, or thanks. Instead all you get is crazy comments, and challenges to do better (vvs. 14-16). OUCH! It hurts! It's happened to me...lots. I'm sure it has to you too. There always seems to be no lack of voices telling you that what you are doing is not right, nor good enough. There was a time before Freedom House, when God was really working, and setting people free. Some people were thrilled, others were critical. Like Jesus, I remember even being accused of allowing satan to deceive the masses. It seems there are always religious folk ready to challenge the workings of the Kingdom, by the "finger of God" (v. 20) There never seems to be a shortage of critics and accusers. We can learn from Jesus on how to deal with stupid remarks (and stupid people).
I really like Jesus' reply to His accusers - "why would satan cast out satan" (vvs.17-18), and secondly, "by whom do you cast them out?"(v.19). He uses simple logic to challenge their illogical remarks. First, get them to think about what they are saying and how ridiculous the suggestion is. Secondly, show them they are criticizing themselves, because their exorcists do the same thing.
Thirdly, remind them we have the victory in Christ and can do the same works as Jesus (John 14:12). I love verse 22. It's a picture of Jesus the Stronger, defeating satan the weaker - "someone stronger (Jesus) attacks and overpowers him (satan), he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder". In other words, Jesus defeats satan, disarms him, and gives back what was stolen!!!! The kingdom of God is pushing back and disarming the kingdom of darkness (v.20). We belong to the kingdom of God!
Listen to the words of Paul:
Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-- that is, the devil--
Ephesians 4:8 This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."
Luke 11:14-28 not only teaches us about our victorious King, and the power of His Kingdom, it challenges us to make sure we are for Him and not against Him; we are gathering, not scattering (v.23). We are for Him by hearing and obeying the word of God (v.28); we are against Him by criticizing and accusing Him and His servants, and the work done in His power and name. Remember that we are part of a new Kingdom - one with power and authority - where the "finger of God" is available for miracles, and a victorious risen Savior rules and reigns. We don't live for the praise of people (v.27), but rather in obedience to the word of God (v.28).
The key to living the life we are called to live is to be filled with Holy Spirit (v.13). We have been cleansed and set free, and our life has been reordered (vvs. 24-25). What we do now with this empty vessel is crucial. Do we allow the evil to return, or do we become and remain filled with Holy Spirit, living out of the power of God and new kingdom reality? Let's live out of our new kingdom life, ignore the accusations, and see the finger of God do mighty things through us.
Have a great week!