“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10.16-20
Several years ago the Lord blessed us with a family ranch and we love it. We enjoy it with friends and family members, opening it up to small retreats and ministry families. It’s in the Hill Country of Texas and is a beautiful piece of property. But with all it’s beauty there are still a few not so pleasant things about the ranch like snakes and scorpions! I’ve been stung once by a scorpion (which really hurts!) but thankfully never bitten by a snake!
I say all this because in this passage in Luke, Jesus references snakes and scorpions and how he has given us power to trample over these creatures. Now I am certain he’s not talking about the animals themselves but people and spirits who represent this behavior of stinging and biting in general.
The seventy two missionaries had just returned to Jesus and were filled with joy saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Which is when Jesus replied about seeing “Satan fall like lightning from heaven,” and the bit about trampling snakes and scorpions, overcoming the power of the enemy and how nothing can harm you.
This is metaphysical speech. It’s Jesus connecting the potential success of our work in ministry to the spiritual realm. Although the seventy two disciples were addressing physical humans, they were casting out demonic spirits, and waging war against the enemy in the “heavenly realm.” But this is nothing to boast about, rather, boast in the fact, says Jesus, “that your names are written in heaven.”
Now we go through life and it’s easy to forget about the spiritual realm, the angels and demons, the battle for hearts, minds and souls of people. Today we associate mental, physical or psychological disorders with science rather than demonic influence. I imagine it to be a bit of both. But let’s not forget as Paul writes in Ephesians 6.12, “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.”
The disciples had it right! They knew the face of our true enemy — those in the demonic realm, and Jesus affirms this insight as well as his omnipresence in saying he saw Satan fall from heaven.
What’s the point? Don’t neglect the spiritual! Fight the good fight in prayer, fasting and on your knees. Rebuke the devil, cling to the blood of Jesus, walk in faith and in step with the Holy Spirit who is your guide and protector.
“O Lord God, you are good. I thank you for loving me and for allowing me to find hope and strength in my time of need. I rejoice Lord, in your presence, that my name is written in the Lambs Book of Life! Glory hallelujah! I praise your name. Come now, Holy Father, help me offer you the best that I have and all I am. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen