Day 4 Scripture Readings
The Dark Side
Many Christians accept that we must engage in ongoing repentance for our constant sinful struggles, and are aware that we must receive ongoing healing for wounds, past and present. However, the notion that Christians could have demonic problems is not only foreign to most believers, but is a downright repugnant suggestion! It's a common belief in much of the Church that Christians are immune from demonic activity. However, there are obvious warnings to Christians throughout the New Testament not to be ignorant of Satan's schemes and the threat the enemy poses.
Of course, not every problem is a demonic one. People can have mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual issues not derived from demonic spirits. Yet, there can often be demonic empowerment behind certain sinful patterns. Our wilful and habitual sins, allowed to go unchecked, have the potential to open doorways through which the demonic can gain an influence. Satan's demons can enter our lives through sin and can also 'infect' our wounds.
Give Satan that foothold and he will seek to make it a stronghold, and eventually a stranglehold, squeezing the life right out of you. He will take up residence in your life if you give him a right to be there. We're in a spiritual war and Satan wants to take us out! Isn't it logical that he's more interested in getting us between his crosshairs now that we're Christians, than before, when we were no threat to him?
Jesus Christ came not only to be our Saviour from sin and our Healer of wounds, but to be our Deliverer from darkness - to undo what sin and Satan have done to our lives. Our Deliverer accomplished this through His death on the cross and victorious resurrection from the dead. Often as Christians, we understand the benefits of Jesus' death for us in the forgiveness of our sins, but fail to appreciate the full ramification of what Christ accomplished. At the cross Jesus defeated Satan for ever!
The message of the gospel incorporates the defeat of the enemy's influence in our lives. However, this victory over sin and the enemy is by no means automatic, nor should it be taken for granted by those who believe in Christ as Saviour. Many Christians are influenced by the demonic realm in various ways, and they need to know how to personally appropriate the victory of the cross for their lives.
Father, I ask You to open my eyes in a safe way to the spiritual realm, but protect me from being preoccupied with Satan or his ways in an unhealthy manner. I confess Jesus Christ as Lord and thank You for the all-encompassing victory over Satan and sin accomplished on the cross. Father, I ask You that the power of Christ's victory on the cross would be applied to every area of my life. If there are any demonic influences in my life, please show me them now and instruct me in Your ways of freedom. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.