The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
To the chagrin of some who think all talk of the devil is silly or outdated, but to the great dismay of the demons of hell itself, Pope Francis recently spoke of the devil – again. He encouraged all to take the Bible passages that mention the devil seriously. He spoke directly about the fact that spiritual warfare is part of the Christian life and mission.
But all too often we who are actively involved in ministry work, focus so much on spiritual warfare and what effect the evil can have in our lives that we fail to recognise the power that Jesus has over the evil one.
The Black Mass commences with an invocation, in front of the naked body of a woman, which begins, “In the name of our God Satan Lucifer Glorious” (In nominee Dei Nostri Satanas Lucifer excelsi). For sure none of us have ever given glory to the devil by participating in a black mass, but I would like to make a mention of the ways in which we tend to do so.
If we do not follow the apostle Paul’s advice, we give glory to the devil.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
If we do not give glory to God in all things, the few things that we are so self-absorbed with give glory to the devil.
Reflect on the way Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert. His final temptation shows his real colors:
“All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” (Matthew 4:9-10)
How often do we meet people serving alongside us who are full of vigour and strength when their life is smooth sailing but who want to quit on Jesus at the drop off a hat when things become topsy turvy?
We say we are too busy, we have no time for God and so on and this behaviour puts us exactly where the devil wants us to be! We have been disarmed. We have become discouraged. We have lost our purpose in life. We have started giving glory to the devil.
Or when any untoward incident happens to us, be it an accident or the electricity failing or things breaking in the house or various other unfortunate things, do we jump up quickly and blame it on spiritual warfare or on the devil??
For sure if you are involved in ministry work and in preaching the good news of Jesus, the devil is bound to get irritated and will seek to cause disruption at any given moment. The way we react to such situations is completely in our control.
We can glorify the devil by blaming everything bad that happens on Him. In this way we very ignorantly give the impression that the evil one is exercising a greater power than Jesus Christ.
When we do not give glory to God in all things, our perspective changes, and we start to be so self-absorbed that we don’t see a solution to our situation. We forget that God is the one who has the solution to all of our problems! If glory is not given to God in all things, glory is due to someone and in the absence of God, it can only be given to the devil.
Despite knowing that evil has caused some disruption in our life, if we choose to give all glory and praise to Jesus by saying,
“Lord I know that this incident is probably the result of spiritual warfare but I know that you are in complete control of the situation and that you will turn the curse into a blessing, my sorrow into joy and my mourning into dancing.” (Psalm 30:11),
then we have truly given glory to Jesus Christ
But what can we do to give all Glory to Christ only?
Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, be steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Remember always that Jesus who is in you has conquered the world (John 16:33) and is much greater than the devil who is in the world (1 John 4:4).