“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 1 John 3:8 (NIV) Jesus’ arrival in our neighborhood had a purpose: “To destroy the devil’s work.” In other words, Jesus triumphed over the evil one when He died on a lonely cross to save the lost. Yes, we humans erred big time when they listened to the evil one (See Gen 3:4-10)!
When we live in fear, we let the evil one dominate us. However, the evil one has no authority over us any longer (See verse above). Jesus destroyed his evil work. We are victorious through Jesus Christ: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV) There are times, though, when we agree with the evil one. We may be sick, feeling desperate, or we end up completely demoralized. Why? Because we have agreed with the evil one. Another possibility is that we have sinned and we agree with the evil one that we are hopeless. There, too, we lose all hope. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
“The thief (The evil one) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
The evil one is on the loose, and he will do anything to “steal, kill and destroy.” That’s why we are admonished to: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV). And he will completely devour us if we agree with him!
There is nothing encouraging that comes from the devil. He is pure evil, and he wants our destruction. Just because some don’t believe in him doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist.
Just lately I experienced the evil one. I was diagnosed with an aortic aneurism. As soon I received this diagnosis, I started feeling pain over my heart from time to time. It would only stop when I ordered these demons in the name of Jesus to leave me. This happened several times; but every time they had to flee! (Amazing things are happening to my heart lately; but more will be revealed in a future date…)
Jesus gave us significant insight into the battle with the devil when He prayed: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 (NIV) After all, our purpose is to have God’s “will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
If we agree with the evil one about our diagnosis, no healing will occur. Instead, fear will reign our lives! When we line up, however, with our Heavenly Father, we experience inner peace, even amidst horrible circumstances. It’s way better to trust in Him than in the depressing news from the evil one: “He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.'” Mark 5:34 (NIV) Rather than listening to the one who wants to destroy us, why not believe in our Heavenly Father! After all, is there disease in heaven? No way! What is God’s purpose? “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In other words, God wants us to be healed, just like in heaven, so that we can fulfill our purpose in life. Our Father gives life; the evil one wants our destruction: “[Jesus] could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.” Mark 6:5-6 (NIV) Wanda Rosenberry described her experience when she ended up with a painful, torn rotator cuff. The doctor urged her to have surgery quite soon, as it wouldn’t get any better. Instead they decided to rely on our Heavenly Father and have His input. This is what she wrote about their experience.
“My husband, Randy, was cutting wood, and I was splitting and stacking it, as it was our only source of heat in the winter. I picked up a huge log and placed it on the splitter, and suddenly my right shoulder felt as though someone had yanked my arm off my body.
I could barely use my arm, but I finished splitting that log and then told Randy I had to stop. Even though it hurt worse than previous attacks of bursitis, I figured that’s all it was. So I treated it the way I had treated the bursitis in the past. But the pain became worse. I finally went to the doctor about it.
“It’s not bursitis,” said my doctor. “You’ve torn your rotator cuff and will have to have surgery to repair it. Maegan [his nurse] will contact the surgeon and set up an appointment with him for you.”
“May I call you later about that?” I asked. “I don’t have the money for the surgery, and I can’t afford the time off work. I have to think and pray about this.”
“All right, but don’t wait too long; it’ll only get worse.”
This was on Thursday. I prayed for healing repeatedly and nothing changed. Yet I continued to pray.
Sunday morning during the worship service, the pastor called for those who needed prayer to come to the front. I went down and told him about my torn rotator cuff. He and his wife laid hands on me and prayed for healing. Nothing happened, and I sat back down.
By the end of the service, I was still in a lot of pain, but it wasn’t as severe as before. I had faith that God would heal me, and I was going to wait on His healing.
The next day the pain had lessened considerably, but it still wasn’t gone. I continued to pray for healing. Tuesday morning I woke up, got out of bed, and without thinking about it raised my arms up and stretched.
“My shoulder is completely healed!” I yelled to my husband. I showed him the full movement of my arm.
To this day, my right shoulder has not given me any more trouble.” Written by Wanda Rosenberry.
It would have been easy to agree that she should undergo surgery immediately, but then she would have missed an opportunity to experience our Heavenly Father. However, our God is not a God of hopelessness, but of hope! After all: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, NIV2) Who do we believe?
(To access the entire “The Forgotten Message” devotional series, please click here.)