Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10, I Corinthians 12:28-31a, Luke 4:31-44
Demons and Spirits and Fevers, Oh My!
I don’t watch scary movies. Life is scary enough. Plus, I’m prone to nightmares and I don’t need any make believe terror on top of that. It’s important to protect our minds and hearts and spirits. I’ve been in a theater and gotten chills and had the hair at the nape of my neck stand up - before the movie even started! Really - it was supposed to be a comedy, but the Holy Spirit warned me of the evil coming while the opening credits rolled. Sure enough, there was witchcraft later in the movie, and people laughed even though it portrayed devil worship. The creepy thing is the insidious way the devil sneaks his work into ordinary life, so most people aren’t scared and aren’t even aware of his presence. I don’t want you to take the Gospel reading lightly when you hear it this weekend. The emphasis is on the authority and power of Jesus, and He shows it in Luke 4 through teaching, commanding evil spirits and fevers to leave, healing the sick, and preaching the Good News. Jesus spoke sternly to the demons and would not allow them to speak further. Should we approach demons the same way - sternly, not allowing them to respond, rebuking them in the power of Jesus’ Name? Yes, but you’re thinking, “Umm, when am I going to encounter a demon?” You may be surprised. We have to be ready with the Name of Jesus on our lips, wearing the full armor of God. I know demons exist on earth, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Take His Word and use it like a sword. I’ve been praying for a young woman for 15 years. She deserves a life of freedom, and I trust that someday Jesus will break the devil’s chains and set her free to live in safety and joy. She was abused her whole life and by the time she was a teenager, she was sorely oppressed by Satan. As an adult she has struggled without Christ to live a good life, but the demon remains, and he continually tries to destroy her. She sleeps with four dogs to protect her at night, but the enemy is within her and she doesn’t know it. Now that’s scary. Even if you can’t discern that someone is oppressed, if they don’t love Jesus, they are open game when Satan is on the prowl. We pray in the powerful Name of Jesus for the oppressed and the captives, those that don’t yet know our Savior, and those that don’t take the devil seriously. Our Savior rules and reigns forever! Amen, Tracy