New Hope Church

Day 16 Lenten Devotional


Jesus miracles show His rule of the spiritual realm
Luke 4:33-36  “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly to the demon. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.  All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power He gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”

The miracles of Jesus were confirmations (signs) of His right to claim the title Messiah and in them He displayed power over the spiritual realm. The gospels record various accounts of Jesus exorcising demonic spirits out of individuals.Human being are not simply made up of material chemicals, but are also blessed with a spiritual side (Gen 2:7; Romans 8:10-14; and others too frequent to list).

However, in this “scientific age” we are prone to neglect the spiritual realm, rationalizing every abhorrent behavior as genetic cellular abnormality.  Many would claim that we are simply genetically wired to particular behavior.  While I do not necessarily disagree with that presumption, since we are fallen human beings predisposed to a fallen human nature of sinful behavior, it does not excuse sinful choices we make.The Bible is all too clear that there is an “evil” spiritual realm that interjects itself at times. EVIL EXISTS!  How hard is that to understand? Just ask missionaries who have visited remote pagan tribes, slavery, Haitian voodoo priests, witch doctors, how about the evil of the 9/11 perpetrators, ISIS, Hitler, New Zealand…scary EVIL stuff.

Evil spirits or demons are mentioned over 127 times during the roughly 1,500 years of written Biblical history.  However, there is a statistical anomaly.  The Bible records the greatest time of demonic activity (mentioned 90 times) during the three years of Christ’s ministry on earth; that is over 70% in only three years!  Evil spirits seem to increase their activity when they are more vulnerable…when Jesus is present.  Yet, Jesus defeats evil spirits 100% of the time!  That is encouraging news for believers in the face of truly evil adversity.  Jesus rules the spiritual realm in totality!  Christians need not fear our enemy in Satan and his demons, for “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31)  “The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

REFLECT:  When have you seen or felt evil in your life?  Are you perhaps too quick to explain away bad things as circumstantial or products of one’s environment?  Consider the options we all face when decision time comes and we have to pick between what is right and what is wrong.

REPENT:  Change your ways. Ask God to forgive you for the wrong, evil options you have chosen in your life.  Ask Him to deliver you from evil.  Confess those times when you were all too willing to follow spiritually evil influences while refusing His holy guidance.

RESTORE:  Recognize with Spiritual eyes the realm around you of power and strength in Jesus, who enables you to resist the devil and the evil thoughts of your heart toward sin.  Rely on Jesus, He is your strength.

Ephesians 6:11  “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Pastor Tom Bellhy