Determined Woman Seeking to Remain Spiritually Strong

A daily devotion for June 17th

The Stronger One

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.

Luke 11:21-22

Here is our Lord's reaction to the challenge presented to him as he was casting out demons. Certain ones said that his casting out demons resulted from his relationship with Beelzebub, the prince of demons, another name for Satan. They said it was by Satan's power that he was casting out demons. Jesus said, No, you are quite wrong, and the reason you are wrong is that if that were true, then obviously Satan's kingdom would be divided against itself. His argument is simply this: Satan never does that. He never fights against himself. He's too clever, too cunning, far too astute ever to divide his forces in that way, for if he did, he knows that his kingdom would fall. Jesus suggests that any man who is under the control of Satan has no possibility of deliverance apart from an outside, intervening force.

That is very revealing, for our Lord is putting his finger on the reason for the continual failure of the usual methods human beings employ to correct evils and wrongs. They fail because they do not come to grips with the essential problem. All our methods of trying to correct the evils we see in human life are simply rearrangements of the difficulties. We succeed only in stirring them around a bit until they take a different form. But our methods never can solve the central problem of evil because they do not come to grips with the power of Satan.

Here our Lord points to a someone stronger who overtakes him and divides his spoil. Who is this stronger one? It is Jesus. He is speaking of himself. He says when a strong man, fully armed, guards his palace, his goods are at peace and nothing can be done about it. But when one who is stronger comes, he breaks the power of that strong man and frees his slaves. Here Jesus declares that his victory, made personal to an individual by faith, breaks the power of Satan. Here is the good news of the gospel. In the mystery of the cross of Jesus and in the power of his resurrection, applied by faith, those who have been born into a society under the control of the satanic mind discover that the force which ruins them is broken, its power to grip them is loosed, and they are set free. There is no other power that can do it. This is why Christians are perfectly justified when they say there is no other answer to the problems of man. There is only one stronger one who has come into the world and come to grips with the power of this dark spirit and broken his power over human life.

The gospel is that Jesus Christ has come to set men free. John says Jesus came into the world to destroy the devil's work (1 John 3:8). This is what the gospel is for. Mankind is in the grips of a power which it is helpless to do anything about. The only one who can deliver us from it is Jesus Christ. He has already done so in the mystery of his cross and through the power and glory of his resurrection. When a man or woman believes that, he discovers that the whole thing becomes practical and actual in his experience. This is what we call conversion. And that is the beginning of the battle.

Father, I ask that I may never forget that I have been set free, that Jesus did this for me when I could do nothing for myself.

Life Application

Do you see that the power of evil around you can only be overcome through the power of the "stronger one" and his work on the cross?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Beginning the Battle

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