“What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” Mark 1:27
When I was in South Korea, working as a student missionary, I was teaching a Bible class one day to about twenty college age students. We were discussing one of the Bible stories in which a person was set free of the control of a demon and I was getting the feeling that there was an attitude of incredulity throughout the class. I was confused as to what was going on until I asked them how many of them believed that their were devils. Not a single student raised their hand but nearly all of them raised their hand to indicate that they believed in angels.
In recent decades, in many of the more “sophisticated” countries of the world, Satan has been running a very successful campaign to convince people that he doesn’t even exist. But friends if we accept this lie we’re setting ourselves up for a very dangerous deception. We’re never more vulnerable than when we’re unprepared and how can we be prepared for an enemy that we don’t believe is real. We can’t prepare and we won’t prepare. And every day we’ll leave ourselves vulnerable to the attacks and temptations created by the devil.
The reason why Satan is so interested in convincing us that he’s not real is so that he can make it easier to convince us that we don’t need Jesus. If there are fewer and smaller enemies then we’re more likely to think we’ve got things under control. And if things are under control we won’t think that we need help and you won’t ask for something you don’t think you need. But this sense of control is all an illusion. Our lives are out of control and they will continue that way until we let Jesus take control.
The Jews, on the other hand, in the days when our Savior lived upon the earth, believed that there were devils but they thought that they were helpless against them. For them this was a bad situation to which there was no solution. And then Jesus arrived and for the first time in any their lives, a person was set free from demonic control. They wondered, can a man control a demon?
Well the answer to that question is no. You and I can’t control the demons, they’re too strong, too experienced for us. But we weren’t created to face them on our own. God created us to be united with him and he can take control of any situation, even ones involving demons, and he will if we ask him to. I’m so thankful to have a strong and loving Heavenly Father.