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DEMONS AND DEVILS – PART SIX

 

Do not think that a leader in the body of Christ is better than a regular Christian because of his or her position in the body of Christ and the fact that Cod commands us to submit to and obey God’s delegated authorities.  Men love and admire heroes and people that appear to be higher in rank or position than they.  We highly esteem those who are leaders and often wish that we too were at the top.  In human society, we strive to be someone that people can look up to, exalt and respect. 

But with God, it doesn’t matter if you are a “nobody” in the world.  “For there is no respect of persons with God.”  Ro. 2:11.   He doesn’t care if you are the president of your country or just a common person, a wife, mother, husband, father or just Mr. or Ms. Nobody.  He does not care about your worldly achievements or failures.  How people see you is nothing to God.  Men see the outside, but God only sees what is in the heart and deep inside of you.  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”  Jer. 17:9-10. 

God has not changed.  Even unto the end of this age, He will still search hearts and reins.  “. . . (A)nd all the churches shall know that I am He which serarcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”  Rev. 2:23.  “Reins” refers to intestines, or the inside of man.

Leaders are often gifted and anointed as good speakers with charm, warm personalities and above-average looks.  They may have the gift of prophecy, discernment of spirits, healing, tongues, word of knowledge, wisdom, faith, miracles, and so forth that regular Christians seem to lack.  These gifts of the Spirit enable them to shine above the rest and sought-after.  But leaders in the body of Christ will be judged on what they did with God’s gifts and abilities given to them and most of all, what is in their hearts and deep within their very being. 

Gifts of the Spirit are wonderful and should be desired.  But they are like a double-edged sword.  The gifts can be used for the kingdom of God or for your own promotion.  You can use it to strike either the enemy or yourself in the end.  Raise a double-edged sword and you can cut the enemy with the leading edge, and also cut your own head with the back edge of the sword.  Sometimes it does both.  The one who brings many people to the cross, manifests great gifts of evangelism, healing, casting out of devils and miracles can also be having an extra-marital affair, stealing money from the church and deceiving others.  Often, only God knows what is in the heart.

Every leader’s success in this world was ordered by God.  Every gift of the Spirit, every victory, every penny, every “good thing,” every member in his church or ministry, every mission trip, every person he “saved,” all of his abilities, every healing, every demon cast out, every miracle, every bit of fame, is from God.  Without Him, you can do nothing.  Besides, He can take it all away in a moment.  

David was beloved of the Lord, not because of what he accomplished, but what he had in his heart.  David knew that everything good that ever happened in his life was from God.  He had done nothing in and of himself.  He was blessed by God.  He knew it. 

Leaders are tempted with the same things regular Christians are, and even more.  That’s because fame and success may bring temptations that ordinary saints do not have.  Leaders have more opportunities to sin.  Famous athletes nowadays are tempted by members of the opposite sex who literally throw themselves at them.  Some women fall in love with Christian leaders, married or single, because of their power and fame.  Satan especially targets Christian leaders and fans the fires of lust for sex, money and fame.  Being a leader has its down side.  The spirit of Jezebel in women in the church will try to seduce the prophet, pastor and leader of the local church.

When God looks into the heart of a leader, He searches for the same things He looks for in every Christian’s heart. 

The little old, frail lady living by herself in the far end of the valley, unknown and struggling to survive, is valued by God every bit as much as the pastor in her church or any other leader admired and respected by others.  I recall in one of Charles Finney’s books he relates a story about how he was traveling when God put it in his spirit to divert from his plans and go down the road into a small town in a valley.  He was invited to speak at the town’s local church and the results were amazing.  Just about everyone in the valley came to the Lord Jesus Christ.  He remarked to the local pastor, “Your church must have been praying hard for revival here.”  He was surprised when the pastor replied that they had not and had no idea why God had moved so mightily.  A year later, Charles Finney learned that a little, old lady who lived far in the valley and who was too frail to come to church, had been praying for years for revival to come to the people who lived in her valley.  God answered her prayers.

Jeremiah 45:5 says, “And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: . . . .”  On the other hand, the apostle Paul says, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.”  1 Ti. 3:1.   Why the contradiction?  Jeremiah was speaking about those that desired high position in order to lord is over others.  It is of the flesh.  A self-promoting leader is dangerous to the body of Christ.  He will rebel and cause others to rebel and follow him.  He will bring contention and division in the church.  Pride and self-promotion is his motivation, a desire to be someone admired by others.  He steals God’s glory and is submitted to no one.  He obeys the lusts of his flesh.

The apostle Paul is talking about one who desires to be a servant or slave to all, that he might bear fruit for the kingdom of God.  No one can bear good fruit without the Lord Jesus.  “Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches.  He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.”  Jn. 15:4-5.

God still looks for someone who will stand in the gap.  “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up a hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, . . . .”  Eze. 22:30.   The Lord is not looking for a super-intelligent, good-looking, talented person.  He is looking someone willing to be a slave to all (Mk. 10:44) and who will do the Father’s will.  It doesn’t have to be a well-respected church leader or someone of importance.  It could be you.  You don’t have to be a famous or successful leader in the church to please the Lord Jesus Christ.  Guard your heart, protect your soul and obey God.  When you get to heaven, you are going to be surprised at who sits on the throne with Jesus and who does not.  Rev. 3:21.

………………………

For a basic study on demonology and how to cast out evil spirits, please get hold of my two books on the subject:  Spiritual Warfare and also Waging Spiritual Warfare, published by Whitaker House.  They have been best-sellers for years and have been translated into Spanish (and unofficially in Italian, German, Bulgarian).  These books actually lead you through an actual session of casting out of devils..


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