Demons are real. They are active in our world. They are involved in your community. And they are oppressing someone you know. They may even be active in you: lying to you, manipulating your behavior, preying on your insecurities, hurts, temptations, and fears, and stealing from you joy, peace, and faith. Yes, demons are real and we best not forget their presence. More importantly, Jesus is the Prince of Peace and all authority has been given to Him. So if we take our place in Him, we have authority because through Him we are more than conquerors. His authority must be exercised by us in this world. It is our responsibility through prayer, confession, and our love-walk to dispense light in dark places.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1
“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Luke 10:7
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 10:7-9
Often in our culture and even in Christendom we become intimidated: cautiously abstaining from pointing out demonic activity or neglecting to cast blame on the devil. Remember this… back in the garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve for the sin and Eve blamed the devil. God didn’t correct either of them for passing blame, but He did assign responsibility to each for their part in the sin. And because of the devil’s influence in that plot, we’ve inherited this fallen world full of fallen humanity. It’s OK to point out the devil. In fact, we need to be more tuned-in to the spiritual realm so that we can accurately be a force for Christ in dispelling darkness. It’s important to love the person and hate the sin, but it’s also important to point out that the enemy is wicked and is the source of temptation. He is responsible directly or indirectly for human suffering. Hear of some murderer on a rampage? Read about incest in your neighborhood? Watch the story about a young 15-year-old single mom drowning her newborn baby? Is your pastor getting a divorce? It’s likely that demons were involved in these plots to bring destruction and rob from humanity. It’s not only the extravagant though, sometimes the devil’s in the details… sometimes that little lie, that impatient attitude, or that perverted desire are directly from the pit of hell and not just our own nature.
It’s not about saying, “You have a demon” or “It’s not my fault, a demon made me do it.” It’s about assigning final blame where it belongs while taking responsibility for our submission to evil and our fall into temptation.
So let us not become devil-glorifiers by constantly proclaiming the devil is everywhere. But while we love one another and love our enemies and live the gospel of Christ, let us also take authority over darkness by the power of His Name, believing and exercising the power of God to bring freedom where there is demonic influence, especially in our own hearts and minds.
Dispel the darkness.