Talkin’ to the Devil

I really wanted to try to get a post up every day in December. Looks like I made it, assuming I actually finish this post. I need to take a break and drive the rest of the way home from California. I’m in Fort Smith, Arkansas as I start this. With the RV, it will take about 8 hours to get back to Selmer.

I was singing a song as I drove yesterday, and I really like it. The chorus is worth recounting to you:

We’re the people of God
Called by his name
Called from the dark
And delivered from shame
One holy race
Saints every one
It’s because of the blood of Christ
Jesus the Son

The second verse, though, begins with, “Hear us, O spirits of darkness … ”

Some Christians like to talk to spirits of darkness. They like to rebuke the devil, and they like to do it as sharply as they please. We don’t think much about statements like Jude 9:

Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the devil in contention over the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a railing accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you."

There’s something about respect, even when it’s given to a terrible and evil opponent like the devil.

Notice that it specifies what sort of accusation Michael was unwilling to bring. He wasn’t willing to descend into "railing." The picture I get is uncontrolled temper or insult.

Christians who get carried away with rebuking the devil often say whatever they want with no restraint.

I don’t believe they know what they’re getting into.

Spiritual Warfare

We love to do spiritual warfare. We love to rebuke the devil, and some of us are just looking for the opportunity to cast out a demon. We bind things, loose things, and claim the spiritual armor of protection. We plead the blood over ourselves …

And we miss the spiritual battles going on all around us.

We miss the little temptations. We miss the times when we’re blinded to the need around us. We miss the voice of the Lord trying to get us to go some other direction than our own.

We think we’re doing spiritual battle while we loudly insult the devil, but in the meantime his evil demons are leading us astray minute by minute.

The Devil’s Not Toothless

(Finishing this back home)

I’ve heard this ridiculous theory that the devil, who, according to 1 Pet. 5:8, walks around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, is toothless.

What?

The devil devours Christians all the time. More than ever. Yes, even in the Charismatic churches, where they’re pronouncing that he doesn’t devour anyone.

Look around!

The reason Christians can be foolish enough to think he’s toothless is that we’re so used to being scattered across the hillsides that it doesn’t bother us when members of the "flock"—or perhaps better said, the non-flock—go missing.

No one notices when Christians disappear. The good shepherd knows the name and condition of every one of his sheep. If one goes missing, then he leaves the 99 and goes to find that one.

Today, if one goes missing, no one notices.

I didn’t capitalize "good shepherd" a moment ago because when Jesus talks about his being the Good Shepherd, he contrasts it with hirelings who don’t care about the sheep. One of the main ways the Good and Great Shepherd shepherds the flock is through good shepherds who are not hirelings; who care about the flock.

Elders are told to shepherd the flock repeatedly (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2). We need not only the Good Shepherd in heaven, but the Good Shepherd using his body on earth. (Heads, you may realize, don’t shepherd very well without a body.)

Resist Him Steadfast in the Faith

We’re in a battle with a real enemy who not only fires arrows, but fires flaming arrows. He not only has teeth, but he has actually dragged off Christians and killed them (spiritually).

You can debate the theology of that all you want. My answer is, look around. I don’t care whether you think they lost their salvation when they were dragged off and left crippled in the world, I just care that we stop that from happening!

The devil is walking around looking for people to devour, and he is devouring them!

He’s devouring a lot of people who insult him and call him toothless.

Real warriors don’t spend their time insulting their opponents. They fight him.

We are called to resist the devil, standing strong in the faith. We are called to follow Michael’s example and avoid railing accusation. The weapons listed in Ephesians 6 do not include insult, boasting, or denouncing.

Rallying to the Battle

Sheep do better together with a shepherd watching over them. When they’re scattered on the hillside, God gets really mad (see Jer. 23).

In 2010, I got to hear about people–people in high places!–who were saying that and making it happen. They were actually preaching that Christians ought to obey Christ, not just get a free ticket to heaven, and they were calling them to do it together. How exciting!

In 2011, let’s jump on the bandwagon.

Now I’m actually going to say something really practical. If you don’t know how to do that, do this:

Go to this page, grab the super simple info on "Life Transformation Groups," grab a brother if you’re a brother and a sister if you’re a sister, and start getting together once per week.

If you’re already part of a flock, you can use that resource for ideas for keeping tabs on one another. We all need it.

Oh, Yeah, About That Battle

Oh, and make sure you actually work on possessing those weapons listed in Ephesians 6—Faith, the Word of God, a Love for Truth, Salvation—because the devil, who’s not toothless, really doesn’t like Christians developing spiritual family relationships. It leads to real shepherds (rather than mere club presidents giving speeches every week) watching over a real flock.

And a real flock is a real force.

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4 Responses to Talkin’ to the Devil

  1. Bill says:

    I came upon your post from a Google Alert I set up on the phrase "plead the blood". I do this every day for my family and believe God showed me something about this which I wrote about in my blog in 2006. You might be interested in reading it at: http://roadrevelations.org/?p=50. Be blessed!
    Bill

    • shammahbn says:

      Thanks for your note, Bill.

      It's hard to say something negative about pleading the blood because it feels like speaking against the blood of Jesus. But I'm not speaking against the blood of Jesus; I'm only speaking against an action that has no scriptural justification.

      I read your blog post. The Scriptures do say that Jesus is our Passover. But where do the Scriptures say that Jesus is our Passover only if we plead the blood over our families? I believe the promises of God apply to us because we believe in Jesus and are thus redeemed by the precious blood of the divine Lamb, Jesus Christ.

      At Rose Creek Village, we teach Christians to believe that all things work together for good to those who love him and are called for his purposes. Thus, everything that happens to us is filtered through the hand of a loving God because we've turned our lives over to him to do with as he pleases, not because we do something like pleading the blood. It sounds spiritual and full of worship, but it's just unscriptural, and it teaches us to trust in an action that neither Scripture nor tradition teaches us to do. We have an alternative action we are called to that provides the very protection you describe, which is believing in Jesus.

  2. John Cullimore says:

    Thanks for that.

    This is a great perspective. I was raised in that environment. I remember my mom walking around our house with friends casting demons out of the couch while I hid under the table.

    Then, the prayer meeting would end, life would go back to normal… and… nothing had changed in our lives. It was a mess, and certainly sent me some pretty messed up pictures of what prayer and shouting at the devil were all about.

    Only recently have I really begun to see how effective and real a true prayer life with the Father is.

    My point is that, that whole mentality robbed me for a long time of what prayer was actually about and for.

    Hope that made sense.

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