Saturday, July 15, 2017

how to divorce the devil

The Word for today:
Acts 21:17-36
We are strangers in a strange land (Exodus 2:22).
Over the next couple days, Stand in the Rain will look at the condition of the believer, estranged from former king and kingdom.
Does the estranged believer have any remaining connection to the kingdom of darkness? We'll answer that question and a few more, so don't be unnerved as we review the terms of our divorce.
Q. Do we have any relationship to Satan?
A. Strange as it may sound, he's our father by default. (Please don't shoot the messenger; it was Jesus who said so)--
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:42-44)
Unless and until we are born again by faith in Christ, we remain in relationship and subjection to the devil.
But that relationship is forever severed when we turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. (Acts 26:18a)
Turning to Christ, we receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith. (Acts 26:18b)
When we divorce the devil to enter into a new relationship with Jesus Christ, we receive a new place (at the table of Our Father in the kingdom of heaven) and a new Power (God the Holy Spirit).
Q. Multitudes have turned to Christ, but multitudes have not. Is Jesus the king? Is Satan still king? Are there co-kings?
A. Satan is now is in the position King Saul held after he was divested of his kingdom. Saul, the people's choice, was the king of Israel until his disobedience caused God to reject him and anoint David as king.
But for a long while, "King" Saul continued to wear the crown while David--the rightful king--and his followers were on the run, forced to take cover in the wilderness and the caves.
Though Saul appeared to be the King, title and authority had been given to David. In the same way, all authority has now been transferred to Christ:
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…" (Matthew 26:18)
So, though it might not look like it, we own the place! We seem to be, like David's men, waging guerrilla warfare against superior firepower, but we are now and forever in the service of the rightful, the prevailing, King:
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13)
Alright, you've divorced the devil to enter into a new relationship with Jesus Christ. But does the devil retain any visitation rights? Tomorrow, we'll find out…

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