July 30, 2011

Luke 10:20 “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

It’s not a bad thing that evil spirits are subject to believers who are operating in Jesus’ Name, but if we start rejoicing over that sort of thing the focus shifts from Jesus to us, and that’s a very bad thing. The most dangerous thing about spiritual authority is the way that it can trigger and feed into a lust for power. It has been said that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The only one for whom that doesn’t apply at all is God. The more we operate in spiritual authority, the more careful we must be to couple that with humility and gratitude. Absolutely no one is worthy of the authority that is available in the Name of Jesus Christ, and we’ve got to remember that. Rejoicing in our salvation is a different matter! Humility and gratitude are much easier in that case. Anyone who is genuinely saved knows they didn’t earn that salvation. Also, things like evil spirits submitting to us are external incidents, and so are variable. Once our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life they are there forever. (Revelation 3:5 and many more) When circumstances get us down, we need to rejoice in our salvation.

I like the line, “I know we’re supposed to take one day at a time, but recently several have ganged up on me at once.” I feel somewhat like that right now! However, that in no way affects my standing in heaven, and I need to rest, relax, and rejoice in that glorious reality. Just yesterday I was reading a comic on the Internet where an older person was saying they weren’t so much afraid of death as they were worried that they hadn’t lived a sufficient life. That shows no understanding of salvation, and many if not most people are in that position – even Christians. As a pastor, I am charged with helping people understand salvation and receive it as a free gift from God. Once they have done that, I am charged with helping them grow in appropriate response to God’s grace, which is to say, discipleship. I don’t have the wisdom to do that, but if I am submitted and available to God, He can and will do it through me. I am not to let the difficulty of the task pull me down, but rejoice that my name is indeed written in heaven, and that God delights to fellowship with and act through me for His glory.

Father, thank You indeed for this glorious reality. Help me so rejoice in Christ that all who see me will desire that joy for themselves. Give me words and wisdom when that happens, so that I may help them repent and believe for their own salvation, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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