Who Do You Serve?
Jesus and the Prince of Demons Luke 11:14-28
14 One day Jesus cast out a demon from a man who couldn’t speak, and when the demon was gone, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed, 15 but some of them said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan,[a] the prince of demons.” 16 Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
17 He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 18 You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive? 19 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. 20 But if I am casting out demons by the power of God,[b] then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. 21 For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— 22 until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.
23 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
24 “When an evil[c] spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ 25 So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. 26 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”
27 As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”
28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
As Jesus was busy doing kingdom work he continue to meet opposition... Friends if it happened to Jesus, you must know it will happen to you too... While Jesus was here on this earth he was continually rejected and despised. (Do not think that we will get better treatment than our Savior did.) Satan was doing everything possible to discredit Jesus and his work and the same will happen to those of us who follow Jesus. Mark chapter 6 verses 1-13 even points out how Jesus was rejected in his hometown by the people who knew him the longest, even our family and close friends who we’ve known our whole lives might reject us. (I personally have the hardest time reaching my own family.) This is just a reminder to expect opposition and rejection and to not let it discourage you from pursuing God and living the life that he has called you to live.
In this passage Jesus was being accused of working for the enemy. He first addresses this by pointing out how absurd it would be for the enemy to attack itself. He also points out that the Pharisees were doing the same thing. So if he was doing it by the power of Satan are they saying that the Pharisees were too? It is interesting how people try to make theories work one direction when it suits them ignoring the implications that point to themselves, not much has changed amongst our human race has it?
We see Jesus making a much bolder statement. He went as far to say that if you’re not for me you’re against me. He was pointing out that there is no neutral sides in spiritual matters. We see this supported throughout Scripture. Romans 5:10 states how we were enemies of God before salvation. James 4:4 states how friendship with this world is hostility towards God and not choosing a side is still choosing. Although following Jesus will have layers of discomfort, rejection and hardship in this world our victory is safe and secured in Jesus. Victory has already been won. Do not find yourself on the losing side. It's not about who your family is or how you were raised, in verse 28 we see the importance lies in hearing the Word of God and putting it into practice. James 1:22 says to be a doer not just some one who hears. Ladies it’s a privilege to suffer for our Savior.
We also see here that it’s not simply enough just to be emptied of evil. We must be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish God’s new purpose in our lives. Our human filed desire to reform on our own often does not last very long. Here we even see a spiritual principle that if we don’t fill ourselves with God we can end up in a much worse state than where we started. The enemies job is to kill steel and destroy us. Our only defense is the power of the Holy Spirit that lives within us. Our mighty God, the Lord of Heavenly Armies, will fight for us; but as we see in this passage, we must choose to be for him and then be filled by him. Although this does not guarantee sunshine and rainbows in this life it does secure our victory for all eternity when we choose to follow Jesus! I am reminded of the old hymn "Victory in Jesus":
I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented of my sins and won the victory
Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me 'ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing
How He made the lame to walk again and 'caused the blind to see
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit"
And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory
Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me…
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that you would bring strength and encouragement to the one reading this today... I pray that you would surround them with your presence, that you would renew their minds in you. I pray that you would protect their minds and their hearts and that they would dig their roots deep into who you are. Secure us in you Father. Strengthen us in you, give us what we need to stand against the enemy and those who oppose us in this world. May we meet our opposition with the love of God. May people see less of us and more of you. Empty us of ourselves and teach us what it means to be a living sacrifice. Help us to pour ourselves out at your feet as you fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit. Enable us to be the hands and feet of Christ and to live the victorious life that you have given us. Help us Father. May our strength be in you. May our hope be in you... Comfort those of us who are hurting and help us to rest in the peace that you give that surpasses all understanding. I ask all of this in the powerful name of Jesus - AMEN