Battlefield of the Mind
Oct 25, 2015 // By:Dave // No Comment
I have heard the phrases used countless times attributing poor fortune, bad health and even poor choices to the intentional effects of the infernal one known as satan (the adversary, the liar, the accuser, the murderer), he actually has quite a notorious resume throughout scripture. He started out as what amounts to the “worship leader” in heaven when he was called Lucifer (the light bearer) and, thanks to his own pride, is now the most accursed of God’s creation. (Gen 3:14, Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezek 28: 12-17).
Ever heard the phrases such as “the devil is trying to steal my joy” or “the devil made me do it” ? Curious, i think, that both of these statements attribute far greater power to the adversary than he actually has, especially over the believer. The believer’s joy is, frankly, not something that is within satan’s reach (let alone something he can effectually take away from us) LOL I’m not saying Satan doesn’t exist, but lets face it, even if his presence was removed from this earth, believers and nonbelievers would do a fantastic job of continuing to sin and mess this place up plenty (all on our own). Our flesh has an interesting habit of changing our focus and perspective and is very tricky about it.
Luke 10:17-20 narrates the story of the disciples coming back to Jesus and excited about the fact that “even the demons are subject to us”. Obviously they were visibly joyous regarding their discovered authority over members of the kingdom of darkness (the demons). In verse 18, Jesus begins to explain that their authority had far greater reach than they could see since Jesus saw Satan himself falling. The disciples only saw that their group of 70 was successful in casting out demons (but did not see that what they were doing was merely a preview of what was to come: the cross of Christ would be satan’s defeat and the establishment of Jesus’s authority over sin and death. What the disciples were doing was more of a preview of what was soon to come … the kingdom of heaven unveiled among mankind and the authority of satan overthrown.
In Luke 10:19, they are told they have been given authority to trample on serpents and scorpions. I see two interpretations available and both work:
- symbolic. snakes and scorpions could be metaphors for satan and his demons. Since Jesus was prophesied to crush the head of satan back in Genesis3:15, and we, as Jesus Disciples have his authority (Luke 9:1-2, Mark 16:15-17), this holds true that if we are doing the work of Jesus, he will empower us to carry it out in His name (Phil 3:14)
- literal. Snakes and scorpions were real dangers in the world the disciples would be traveling in and these could be obstacles and risks faced (especially if the enemy wanted to place them in the disciples path to slow them down or discourage them, even try to kill them). In this case, we are back to trusting in the Lord’s protection to do His work and that we are all to press on until the day He has determined to be our last (rather than living our short earthly lives in fear of what might happen and spending our eternity regretting what could have happened instead).
Jesus states in Luke 10:20 that their joy should be rooted instead, in the fact that their names have been written in heaven.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying being able to cast out a demon, but didn’t Jesus mention another group who was casting out demons in their day ? Their cause for joy was short-lived! Matt 7:22-23. Jesus tells them “I never knew you. Get away from me you evildoers!” Powerful language aimed at those who were able to accomplish something that the disciples has actually failed at their first time.
Reader, our joy is to be in Christ himself. Our relationship with our Savior is the sole cause and source of true joy.
Knowing Jesus is to understand the joy of the expression of the Father’s plan for salvation of each man accepting Christ (Luke 8:9-10, Hebrews 12:2)
Basically, the Father’s joy was in revealing salvation to us through Christ. Christ’s joy was in revealing this plan to us and exercising it on the cross. Our joy is seeing it, understanding it and receiving it.
The devil can’t take away real joy. He can’t touch it. He can only distract the believer into redefining his joy as temporary pleasure from things that rust and rot and hoping we become discouraged when we can’t get those things or the gilding wears off the rusty cage of our fleshly contraptions. (James 4:1-4 is a great outline of how powerfully our flesh can distract us and misguide us)
Matt 6:33 tells us where to aim our hearts and desires. Psalm 37:3-4 reminds us that if the Lord be our delight, then we will in fact receive the desires of our heart. Why, because our desires will have become His desires !!! 🙂
His joy (the knowledge and ability to share the message of salvation) becomes our joy. Eternal and immutable joy.
2 Cor 10: 3-5 places the ability and responsibility to examine and correct out thought life with the power of the Spirit and authority of Jesus.
Conquer your thoughts, establish true joy and shout the victory.
Know your bible, but pray it up and pray it in !!
in His service, Dave Cadieux