You have heard of Listerine™, but have you heard of Dr. Joseph Lister? In the middle of the 19th century, a novel idea was circulating in medicine that ‘germs’ circulated in the air. Antiseptic practices we take for granted were unknown at the time. Many patients survived surgery only to die of what was called “ward fever.” No one knew exactly why but it was so common that surgery was a last resort. Lister decided to try using carbolic acid to cleanse wounds. He had a fine mist sprayed in his operating theatre. His post-surgery mortality rates fell dramatically!
Most doctors scoffed at the idea of ”germs” and it took a whole generation for germ theory to be accepted. In 1881, an American President, James Garfield, died after being shot from severe infections that developed because his physician scoffed at the idea of antiseptic practices and refused advice to cleanse the wounds with carbolic acid!
Scripture teaches us about the reality of the realm of the Spirit. We are promised the Presence of the Holy Spirit to live in us, to empower us, to keep and guide us. We are warned of the work of the Devil and his demons who work against good and God in this world. Ignoring this dimension of life leaves us vulnerable.
We need to live with an open heart and mind that welcomes God, the Holy Spirit. Learning to recognize His voice, knowing how to recognize the work of the evil one, allows us to experience victory over temptation. We gain the ability to “see” the unseen with discerning eyes. Paul says “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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-14, NIV)
With God as my Father, Jesus as my Savior, and the Holy Spirit as my ever-present Advocate – I do not live in fear, nor should you, if you know Christ. However, have great respect for the power of Satan and his demons, and so should you. John says of Christians and the devil, “they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.” (Revelation 12:11, NLT) He refers to the Exodus story. The Israeli people who obediently responded in faith by putting the blood of the Passover lamb on their doorposts, escaped the death angel’s judgment. We receive Christ, by faith, and His sacrifice covers us.
Should we be superstitious, looking for demons at every sign of trouble, attributing every glad circumstance to direct divine intervention? That simply makes fools of us. We cannot pray away the results of our disobedience and/or foolishness. If we drive like a maniac, we cannot place responsibility for the crash on the Devil! If refuse to practice good financial management and diligence in our work, we should not expect God, our Father, to provide for us anyway!
Live in faith. Walk each day in obedience. Trust God. Resist the Devil.
As Martin Luther wrote,“And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us; We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.”
Here is a word from the Word. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.” (1 Peter 5:8-11, NLT)