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Rebuking the Devil

by David & Tamra Lee

Question: Do I need to rebuke the devil?

Answer: Satan is on a leash; unable to even snarl at God's children unless the Lord allows. Remember Job? Satan had to have specific permission for the things he did; and even then the Lord put perimeters around him. (Job 1)

Consider Paul's thorn in the flesh. This was a "messenger of Satan sent to buffet" Paul. (2 Cor. 12:7) Did Paul rebuke it? No. In fact he freely admitted that this messenger of Satan was a gift from God to keep him humble.

In Luke 22:31,32, Jesus warned Peter that Satan would sift him like wheat. But, Jesus had prayed for Peter; and Peter would be restored to be able to strengthen his brothers. Though Satan would try, he couldn't destroy God's child.

Peter learned that he could not stand on his own understanding—not even his personal knowledge after walking for 3 years with Christ. In fact, Peter would later write to harassed Christians & reassure them that even though they were enduring great trials, it was for their testing & purification and eventually, their glorification. (1 Pet. 1:6,7; 2 Peter 5:10) Peter didn't rebuke Satan for the trials. Rather, he rejoiced in his Sovereign God; and taught others to do the same.

Even in the betrayal of Jesus, the Lord gave permission to Satan & Judas Iscariot to do their wicked plan (John 13:21-27).

Our protection from the enemy comes not at our wielding the name of Jesus boldly at Satan, but from running to our Lord & hiding under the shadow of the Almighty! (Ps. 91:1-5) In fact, we're told to submit to God, resist the devil (by refusing to give into his temptations & harassments) and humble ourselves, submitting to God. As we do this, we are resisting the devil and he must flee. As we draw near to God, He draws near to us. That includes confession & forsaking sin, sorrowing over sin, & humbly trusting in the Lord—who will lift us up. (James 4:6-10 and 1 Peter 5:6-10) We are reassured that though we may suffer awhile, the God of all grace will establish, perfect and strengthen us.

Jesus promised that we belong to the Father and no one can pluck us out of His hand. Nothing can destroy us, or cause us to perish, Jesus said. (John 10:27-28)

Colossians 1:13 says once we are in Christ, we are already delivered out of Satan's dominion. So there is no need to fear that Satan can harm us—we belong to our Heavenly Father. Jude 1 says we are "kept in Jesus Christ." Romans 8:28-39 reminds us that nothing(!) can separate us from the love of Christ. Not even demons.

According to Jude 8-16, the idea of a believer speaking boldly against the devil is regarded as foolish & inviting trouble. Notice even Michael the archangel did not feel it his place to rebuke Satan. He simply said "The Lord rebuke you! He left spiritual warfare to the Lord of Hosts.

We have the blessed assurance that the battle is the Lord's! His power & deliverance is by His work on the cross as promised in His Word. All we do is get close to Him, like a small child scampering to Daddy when a big bully comes around. The bully gets one look at Dad, and is off like a flash.

Why would I even try to personally punch at the devil, when my Lord & Father have already assured me that the battle is Theirs, not mine; and They will be faithful to keep me? Even in the face of temptation, persecution & all the demons of hell, I will never perish! (John 10:28)

Rebuking the devil is God’s job, not ours. It is neither commanded us, nor given to us as an example of normal Christian warfare. Instead let us resist Satan & turn our eyes to Christ, our Protector.

2000 by David & Tamra Lee. This article may be copied on these terms: 1. That it is copied completely, verbatum, unless permission granted by author to do otherwise. 2. The author is credited. 3. No charge be made for distribution of it. 4. All glory go to Jesus Christ; Author of all Truth.

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