Devotions

Category Archives: Fallen

Fallen – His Angels #3

Devils and Demons | Even Demons Believe
Pastor Ryan Story | Student Pastor

I have been teaching high school students the Bible for some time now. A while back I was doing a study on the Book of James with some high school boys, and we came across these verses, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:18-19).  The room fell silent for a moment, until one of the boys said, “seriously the Book of James makes me want to stab my eye with a fork.”  Now I thought he was going to say his sudden conviction came from the “I will show you my faith by my works” part of this verse. He surprised me by asking the group a very pointed question, “If demons know that God is who He says He is, and demons believe that God is who He says He is, what makes us different?” You could hear a pin drop for a few minutes as we all processed that question. To this day, whenever I read the Book of James, I get to this part, and I ask myself a very tough question, “What makes your belief different from that of a demon?”

I have always found it a tad scary that the Devil’s minions probably have a better understanding of Jesus than I do. I have always wondered what kind of belief system do demons have. In Mark 5, when Jesus is casting out Legion he even tells Jesus, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” Since Legion was many demons, I have to conclude that it was some group consensus that Jesus was, in fact, the Son of the Most High God. So demons clearly have to believe that Jesus is who Jesus said He was. Demons must know that Jesus can do all that He said He could do. Demons must believe that Jesus is the one who can set the captive free. Demons must believe that Jesus can give sight to the blind, heal the sick, and give hope to the hopeless. Demons must believe that Jesus is capable of using any person who puts their faith in Him to change the entire world in Jesus’ name. If demons believe this, why do people who call themselves Christ followers struggle to believe the same thing?

So I ask, what makes your belief in God different from a demon? The key to unlocking this question is in two vital words. Faith and works. Demons had a belief that Jesus was truly Jesus, but that did not mean they were spreading the Good News around. We cannot leave our walk with God strictly on faith alone. Yes, faith is the only thing that saves us, but works are what make others see differently. Works allow us to show everyone, from the angels above to the demons in Hell, for whom we live. The thing that makes us different from a demon is the drive that we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, not because it sounds right or we look good, but because we want the world to know who the Son of the Most High is. We want to show the world who set us free. We work to show how Jesus healed us. What makes you different than a demon? Take today to show them and God, how you are different.

Fallen – His Angels #2

Devils and Demons | Reel is Too Real
Philip Piasecki | Worship Leader

The Grand Blanc location of the River Church meets at the Trillium movie theater each Sunday. Meeting at this site has some impressive benefits, but also has some downfalls. One of the issues we run into is the type of movies that are being advertised any given Sunday. We commonly have to hide the cardboard movie advertisements because of their content. It seems like every other month there is a new movie about demons/demon possession coming out, and of course, it has a terrifying cardboard advertisement to go with it. Obsession with demons is so prevalent in the United States, and it is no more evident than in Hollywood. They keep making those types of movies because people continue to see them. I think people are willing to open up to the demonic realm because they do not realize how real it is. It is so important that Christians understand that spiritual warfare is a very real thing.

Ephesians 6:11-13 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

The Scriptures warn us here about the very real danger that we face each and every day as believers. The devil is not alone in his quest to destroy each and every one of us; he has an army roaming the earth looking for any opportunity to attack Christ’s followers. This is why it is so important that we guard ourselves with the Armor of God! We are fighting against cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil; we cannot survive that attack on our own. We need to look to Christ daily for our strength and protection. At the same time, we need to be wise about what we open our lives up to on a daily basis. My brother is currently a missionary in the Middle East, and the stories he has told me about the demon possession he has seen over there are harrowing. These people look for power anywhere they can find it, often calling on spirits from ancient temples, looking for something to strengthen them. Since these people are not believers, they do not have the Holy Spirit in their lives to protect them, and this leads to common occurrences of demonic possession. As believers, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to fight this spiritual war for us; we need to set our eyes on Christ and find our strength in Him. All the while, understanding that the spiritual realm is something that should not be taken lightly. We are fighting against a very real enemy, stand firm daily in the presence of Christ.

Fallen – His Angels #1

Devils and Demons | How Then Shall We Live
Chris Cain 

Are you at that point yet?  Half-way through this book and thinking, “Is this devilish talk over yet?  Make it stop already!”  Like, can these demons just not go away?  The Bible calls fallen angels – devils, demons, evil, and unclean spirits. They are supernatural, invisible, angelic, spirits. They are power hungry and love corrupting us humans to separate from God.  Did God actually create THIS?

Are you fearful of demons?  Should you be?  John McArthur writes, “There has always been a battleground between God and His truth and the devil and his lies. And that battleground is clearly drawn in Scripture and the fight goes on constantly. God calls to people through the truth and Satan with his demons tries to lure people away from truth with his hellish lies.”

The thought of writing about demons was somewhat daunting to me, maybe a little scary.  As I spent more and more time reading about them, you could say my fear factor was on the rise. But you know what scares me the most?  Knowing that demons want people to be lured away from the Truth. That is what scares me.

Retreat. Drawback. No way.  I am going to fight.  I am filled with the Holy Spirit and armed with Truth. Ephesians 6:10-12 says,  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

Will you armor up with me?  Will you battle?  The Greek word ‘dunamis’ is used about 120 times in the New Testament and means strength, ability, or power.  You might recognize that we get our English words ‘dynamite’ and ‘dynamic’ from it. We are not living our Christian life in our power, but in God’s and it is a miraculous and marvelous power.  An explosion of power!

If you want to battle, you will fight with Truth.  For those of you who have read a few of these “devotions” and say, “Eh, this is not a Bible Study, this is not deep enough,” then maybe it is time to put in some sweat equity, pick up your Bible, and read the rest of Ephesians six and answer: Who wrote it and to whom? Where do you see Jesus in the passage?  Why is it part of Scripture?  How then shall you live?

I know how I will live. I am going to armor up!  Do not let those demons lure you away from Truth.

Fallen – His Mission #6

Devils and Demons | The Hunt
Noble Baird | Community Center Director

One of my father’s favorite movie series of all time is Mission Impossible. I love how at the beginning of every movie, Ethan Hunt is given some self-destructing device, which contains the debrief on a mission for which he is requested. Whether Ethan Hunt is bouldering on the side of Dead Horse Point in Utah, sliding across the top of a speeding train, or climbing the side of the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai; he is continually put in scenarios and missions that are seemingly impossible.

In 1 Peter 5, Peter gives us a quick and accurate description of what exactly Satan’s mission is. He writes in 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” I love how Peter lays it out quick, easy, and in simple terms. Satan’s mission is to “devour,” which means he wants to destroy anyone he can. He wants to consume, overcome, control, and ultimately take with him anyone in the world. This is his mission; his mission is not to simply attack those of us who are followers of Christ, but more importantly anyone in the world who lets him have a foot in the door of their lives.

When we watch a movie like Mission Impossible, we ultimately know that the resolution at the end will have Ethan Hunt completing his mission. Along the way, yes he will face impossible odds and tasks, yet he will come out victorious. As we read in 1 Peter 5, Satan is on a mission as well. His mission is to purge and devour as many people in this world as he can, to join his cause. Yet, his resolution will not be the same as Hunt. When Christ died on the cross, He completed His mission and solidified Satan’s as impossible. The veil was torn and as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:55, death lost its sting and will have no victory.

So, as we move forward and continue to live one day at a time, remember Satan’s mission that he has been trying to carrying out since the beginning of the world in Genesis 3. As followers of Christ, we know that he is seeking to devour anyone he can get a foothold. However, that is where our mission begins. Just as Ethan Hunt was given a debrief of his missions, Christ gave us ours when He left this world. Satan’s mission is indeed impossible, but ours is not. That is why this is your mission, should you choose to accept it: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Fallen – His Mission #5

Devils and Demons | Kingdom Seeker
Mark O’Connor | Student Director

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  – 1 Peter 5:8

The simple statement of Satan’s mission is to keep us from entering into a meaningful and lasting relationship with Jesus. This is shown in verses like 1 Peter 5:8 shown above. John 10:10 tells us he comes to steal and destroy, and he does. It is funny to me that it appears that even Satan does not fully understand the power of God. Throughout history, he has been defeated and overcome so many times, but he thinks there is still a chance of victory.

That is where we come in. We see in movies when the good guy loses a fight, and they reference that while this battle may be lost, the war is far from over. Maybe this is where Satan is.  Obviously, he is on the losing end of the war, but he continues to fight, and he continues with these guerilla-like tactics on humanity.

We battle in our spiritual lives to become more Christ-like, at least I pray that I can be continually moving in that direction. We are in a fight against a worldview that is growing ever more popular that contradicts the foundation of how Jesus calls us to live. There is no doubt that the enemy is at work in this movement. That is not to say that those who are part of these movements are satanic at heart. But the very nature of the enemy is to point us in a direction that we are acting in a manner that is pleasing to us and what we want in our selfish nature, that we would lose focus on living a life that is pleasing to God.

Colossians 3:1-2 says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Paul instructs the Church to set our minds on things that are above and not what is happening here on earth. Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 6 to seek first the kingdom of God. Satan will use things both big and small to distract us. It could be a little thing in your personal life. Maybe it is one of those “secret” things we do not let the rest of the world see, but are tearing our faith apart in the background. It could be an issue with a friend or family member. Or maybe it is the cumulative collection of all of the enemies’ small victories in this much larger war. I do not know what he is using to distract you, but I pray that you will begin to take stock of the thing that are keeping you from a meaningful relationship with Jesus.



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