Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon – an evil spirit – began shouting at Jesus, “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”
These words from Luke 4, NLT, caught my attention recently in a totally new way.
Why are you interfering with us? the demons shouted. Have you come to destroy us?
I can just picture Jesus within himself replying, Well actually, YES! That’s exactly why I’ve come!
How much am I, as a follower of Christ, ‘interfering with the works of Satan’? I certainly see his works everywhere – killing, stealing, & destroying, just as the Scripture says.
Do I notice anymore? How much do I even care?
As this thought – interfering with Satan’s work – stayed in my spirit, it’s been changing how I do life – and I really want this change to continue & develop in me.
I was recently scheduled to speak to a group of seniors in a longterm care home – something I do every few months. I’d prepared prayerfully, – but after reading and considering this idea of ‘interfering with the works of Satan’, this task took on a stronger intensity.
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There would probably be people in that group who Satan feels pretty safe about – no longer contending for their souls. People who don’t really think there’s a God, or have no hope of (let alone assurance of) being with Christ in eternity. Perhaps people who have been stuck on some theological question for decades.
Whatever the case, I had a new urgency to ‘interfere with the works of Satan’ in these lives.
I wanted to tell them about Jesus – the Light from heaven. Jesus, the One who heals the deep hurts of the heart. Jesus the one who brings victory over fears. Jesus the one who forgives – even a reprobate like the thief on the cross. I spoke with a renewed intensity about my Jesus that day.
Then I prayed that the Word would not be quickly forgotten, but would take root in hearts, would cause hope to spring up. That, ‘chords that were broken would vibrate once more’, as the old song says.
Carolyn Custis James, in her book, Half the Church, says “God created his daughters to be ezer-warriors with our brothers. .. soldiering together wholeheartedly and at full strength for God’s gracious kingdom.” (p 113)
Let us allow the Spirit of Christ to so flow within us, that we will for sure be ‘interfering with the works of the devil’.
In prayer, in love, in action, in words, in priorities, ….
and a few days later…
“the belongings of a strongman are safe while the strongman is guarding them. – UNLESS!
– a stronger strongman comes!”
The Lord, the Lord God Almighty, the Lord of heavens hosts – He is the Stronger Strongman!
– so: those poor people who seem to be hopelessly in the enemy’s power,
world situations that seem to be careening to disaster
our God is Greater than ISIS!
But, in the same teaching in Luke, Jesus warned, “a house divided against itself will not stand”.
Christians, we need to examine our hearts & repent in sorrow, and turn from anything that divides us from other Christians
e.g.: comparisons & spirits of competition, snide remarks, no inclination to speak well about or to help…
and a few days later again …
Jesus: Anyone wanting to be my disciple must make me his absolutely highest priority, must obey me, must take up his cross even, and follow me.
The cross of Christ is the ultimate symbol of defeating the works of the devil.
So the thought flows from there: I need to take up my cross (those puny by comparison to Christ’s) in this campaign to interfere with the works of the devil.
the cross also reminds us of “a grain of wheat” which is seemingly buried – but actually dies to itself in order for lots of fruit to be produced.