April 16, 2024

Beside Still Waters: But He rebuked them

Therese Apel

Photo by Specna Arms on Unsplash

Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah. – Luke 4:41

Earlier in this chapter, Luke notes that people were amazed at the authority in which Jesus spoke to the demons, telling them to come out of people and sending them away. Because of this, I have always wondered how we apply that authority to rebuke the demons that whisper in our ears about how we’re not worthy or we’re not loved, or whatever our struggle is.

You see, Jesus gave that same authority to us as His followers. Just like the disciples were given the power to cast out demons, so are we, and you can think I’m crazy if you want, but this world is FULL of them. But why is it that I can’t stop hearing that voice that reminds me that I’m so alone and I’ll always be alone, or that I’m getting old and I’ve never been enough anyway, or that I’m too weird to make a difference? Why can’t I silence it? God gave me the authority, right?

That’s where the faith comes in, and it’s hard.
When I look that demon in the face, I have to know who I am and Who I belong to. Just like a marksman needs to trust in his skill to hit the bullseye, I have to know that I have all the resources available to execute this task. I have to have complete confidence that the One Who gave me that authority was genuine when He did, and that He is fully aware that I would be using it.

Like a marksman, though, I must also spend time learning about that skill. I need to learn what it means when I say, “God has given me the authority.” I have to understand the weight of that authority, and how I’m not to use it flippantly. And if we’re following the marksman metaphor, I need to make sure my weapon — that being faith — is clean and cared for.

It is in building our faith, in studying the word, in spending time with God that we find the gifts that we’ve been given, whether it be the authority to silence and cast out those voices, the perseverance to trust through our toughest trials, the discernment to know what God’s will is for us.
The demons were silent because they knew He was the Messiah, and they know you belong to the Messiah. They will come at you with all they have, and their mission is to break down your witness and cripple your faith. You have the authority to send them away.

This is not, no matter how I’ve made it sound, an easy battle. This is Special Forces level warfare, and it takes Special Forces level training. That’s at your fingertips. God offers that to anyone who seeks it if they’re willing to stick through BUD/S or boot camp or wherever you want to take this metaphor.

Now go and do the work. Make the world a better place. ❤️

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