March 11 – Tuesday
Fasting Item(s): Computer (except for school and work) & Video Games (phone and tablet games too).
Today’s Scripture: Mark 9:29 “And He said to them, ‘This kind cannot come out by anything by prayer.'” NASB
Question: How do you deal with evil?
Devotion: There’s something that draws many of us into those scary movies isn’t there? Growing up I use to have this odd obsession with watching A Nightmare on Elm Street – in fact one of the first movies Kim and I went to see in the theatre was the Blair Witch Project. If you told me then that this was “trash”, I wouldn’t have believed you because this mystery of darkness had to be solved and I was the guy for the job. Nowadays, I see this same type of movie (and video games) of darkness being promoted and I would tell you that it’s “trash”. The above question is, “How do you deal with evil?” Initially I’d say that we run towards it in our youth because we either believe we are invincible or we are just prone to “the things of this world”. When we get older I’d say that we run from it or at a bare minimum, we turn a blind eye to it as though it doesn’t exist. Do we ever contemplate that we can deal with evil through “prayer”? One of my favorite and humbling stories of the Bible is about the Seven Sons of Sceva (Acts 19) who decided that because they are the sons of a “high priest” that they can do some exorcisms, but things don’t go as they had originally planned. The evil spirits say to these 7 men, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?“NIV84 The text continues, “Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He game them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.“NIV84 I don’t know about you, but I’d say that this was a decisive victory for the demon-possessed man. These 7 men tried to copy Paul’s ability to drive out evil spirits, but they had the wrong motives for doing so. They wanted the fame of doing something that others lacked the ability to do – I believe for a financial gain. So where did Paul get such a power to do this sort of work of driving out demons? I believe he had a prayer-relationship with Jesus Christ and the 7 men did not. Wielding the name of “Jesus” like a sword without knowing and trusting HIM, can have catastrophic ramifications. Spiritual authority comes from Jesus Christ, not in just merely knowing His name. We can only know if Jesus is giving us His authority if we are in a relationship with Him and the main way to do that is to be in constant prayer with Him, as well as being in His Word. If I throw around Bible verses and wield them like a sword, but not believe the author of those words, I am setting myself up for a whooping like those 7 men. We can only pretend to be Christ followers for so long until we break or are noticed as phonies. If demons notice a fake follower of Jesus, I’m sure Jesus Himself will notice a pretender too. This is our call to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) – to read His Words to us and to meditate on them day and night (Joshua 1:8) and I might add during the middle of the day while at work or school. Let this be a challenge that we not take lightly because who knows, we might get whooped if we go it alone.
Prayer focus: Kids and Parents pray for your friends and children in other countries who may not know Jesus.
Here’s the free Lent Calendar
to follow along the path God is calling us to. Take others on the journey with you, but not in a “look at us” sort of way. This is a humble journey to be endured with the help of God.