Over the last two days we have been speaking about spiritual freedom. Jesus' ministry included setting people free from demonic spirits. Satan and his kingdom of darkness are clearly still around today in the 21st century.
But how do we respond to all of this? What's the right approach to take to this somewhat controversial area?
When it comes to this subject, I believe that there are two extremes we need to avoid:
1. A preoccupation with Satan and the demonic world (‘Demonic Dave’).
Some people know and talk more about the devil, demons and spiritual warfare than they do about God and the gospel.
- A black cat walks by … "the devil must be on the prowl today!"
- It's an overcast day … "there is an oppressive spirit over the city!"
- Someone coughs … “Come out!” [You can’t cast anything out’ if it’s not ‘in’]
- You've had a tough week … “The devil has been chasing me this week!”
- You make a mistake … “The devil made me do it.”
- You meet a strong woman … "she has a spirit of Jezebel!"
- You're feeling down … "A spirit of depression is attacking me!"
- Someone acts a little cool to a friend … “Watch your back!”
2. Ignorance or unbelief in Satan and the demonic world (‘Sceptical Susan’).
Some people, including Christians, live like the devil doesn’t even exist. Back in the 1970s, Christian artist Keith Green sang a song from the devil’s perspective, No One Believes in Me Anymore, emphasising how easy it is for the devil today to work his tricks because so few people believe in him. People with this view tend to think ...
- "Everything can be understood through reason and science."
- "Yes, God is real but the devil and demons? That’s a lot of ‘hocus pocus’."
- "Things happen – luck, change, coincidence, unfortunate ..."
- "There’s a psychological explanation for most things."
So where would you be on this spectrum? Are you more like Demonic Dave or more like Sceptical Susan (with apologies to all the Dave’s and Susan’s here today)? Which way do you need to move?