I was thinking about an appropriate theme for New Years this year, and God directed me to Matthew 8:28-32…
“When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They came out of the tombs and were so violent that no one could go through that area.” (Matthew 8:28 NLT)
We know the story: Jesus, after calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee (See Matthew 28:23-27), is accosted by two men possessed by demons. The story of the deliverance of these two men is so beautiful, inspiring us with hope and faith in our own deliverance and in the deliverance of others that we love. It was, however, the reaction of the demons themselves that caught and held my attention as I read the story this morning…
“They began screaming at him, ‘Why are you interfering with us, Son of God?’” (Matthew 8:29a NLT)
There are actually many references in the gospels to the fact that the demons recognized Jesus’ Lordship far quicker than the people He came to save: “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” (James 2:19 NLT). This story, along with others recorded in Luke 10:17, Mark 3:11, etc; and the passage from James make it very, very clear: The demons know that Jesus is Lord! They knew Jesus in Heaven. They recognize Him, they recognize His authority over them! The demons believe in Jesus!
It’s interesting to think about this: The demons believe. They believe so wholeheartedly that they work very hard to blind our eyes to Truth: the Truth that Jesus is the Son of God, the Truth that Jesus has authority to cast out demons, and the Truth that He has given us authority over the demons. These Truths are the ones the devil doesn’t want us to believe! And despite the fact that He knows they are true, He deceives us into believing they are not…
I just read an interesting article entitled: “Most Christians do not believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit exist.” Wow! Not only has the devil’s deceptions hardened the hearts of the unsaved, but they have also severely handicapped the saved!
But do the demons only believe Jesus is the Son of God? Or do they also believe the Holy Scriptures? We need to look no further than the rest of our former text — Matthew 8:29b. After recognizing Jesus and His authority over them, after acknowledging that Jesus was about to “interfere”, they say this powerful line: “Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?” (NLT)
Wait. They know that there is an end declared for them! They understand that they will not be allowed to roam the earth at will forever and ever! They know that there is an “appointed time” in which they will be tortured! Even though the book of Revelation hadn’t yet been given, they knew and believed the Truth of Revelation 20:10: “Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever“ (NLT)!
What, then, is the point here? I don’t know about you, but it hit me right between the eyes: If the demons believe in the veracity of Scripture; if they know that they are going to be sent to the eternal torment, then why do so many Christians doubt Scripture? Why do we doubt the veracity of prophecy? Is it possible that the demons have more faith in the veracity of Scripture and prophecy than the Bride of Christ? That, my friends, is an incredibly sad thought! I don’t know about you, but I want to have more faith than the demons, not less! I want to go farther than they do. They know the judgment is coming, and they don’t want it to come too quickly! I want to not only know it is coming, but to await it with impatience!
So what is the New Years theme in this devotional? I would ask you to join me in this upcoming year to truly aspire to believe in the veracity of Scripture; to not only believe in end-time prophecy, but to await its fulfillment with anticipatory impatience and joy! That is my prayer for each of you this new year!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Acting Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries