From Pastor Brady
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11
On Sunday we read the story in Mark chapter 5 of a man that was afflicted by a legion of demons. He was an outcast that lived in the graveyard, cut himself, screamed all day and night and could not be helped (or so it appeared). If we were to think of demonic influence as a spectrum, this man would be on the far right. It doesn’t get much worse than what he was experiencing.
But what about us? Are we on that same spectrum at all? Does supernatural evil target us?
Our Fighter Verse says it does. The Devil is scheming against us. The word “scheme” means “trick” or “deceit” or “cunning.” So you may not be experiencing demon possession, but you are a target. Satan is out to destroy you. You are on his radar. You are on the spectrum of evil’s influence.
Now, it is important to remember that if you are a Christian, the Devil’s influence upon you is not what it once was before Christ. In Ephesians 2, Paul said that before Christ we were “walking according to the prince of the power of the air (the Devil).” But now that we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, evil’s influence over us is not one of possession or identity. Ephesians 3 says that your salvation proves the wisdom of God to the spiritual powers and authorities. Therefore we are no longer controlled by evil, by the Devil, but by good, by God.
So is there not more evil left in us as Christians? Is there no demonic influence? No way that the Devil can trick us?
Again, not according to our Fighter Verse. The Devil is still out to trick you. Yes we have the life of Christ in our spirit through the Holy Spirit, the very nature of God. But at the same time our physical bodies let evil enter from the outside and afflict our souls- our thinking, choosing, and feeling. Look at some of these warnings in scripture:
1 Peter 5:8. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Corinthians 7: 5. Do not deprive one another (written to married people about sexual intimacy), except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Ephesians 4:26-27. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.
2 Timothy 2:24-26. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
We must take these warnings seriously. We are on the spectrum of evil. The Devil is real and wants to destroy you-either through exaltation or through debasement. Whatever it takes to destroy the glory of God by destroying His greatest creation- us.