Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sending the Seventy: Part 26

The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven." (Luke 10:17-20 NASB) 

(Note: this post is a continuation of part 23 and part 24 and part 25. You may want to read those before continuing with this post.)

Jesus had sent the seventy disciples out to teach and heal in the villages to which He was going.  They were not to take anything with them, but were totally dependent upon the hospitality offered in the places where they served. They returned after the trip, full of enthusiasm and bubbling over with joy. "Even the demons were subject to us in Your name!" they told Him. Jesus was as kind and encouraging as a proud daddy with a toddler taking his first steps. He told them that He had seen in the spiritual realm what they had seen in the physical. 

Metaphorically speaking, He had given them authority to "tread on serpents and scorpions". We saw yesterday that this did not mean to literally walk on snakes (nor handle them) but to participate with Christ in the fatal blow to the serpent's head foretold in Genesis 3:15 (and covered in part 24) "Nothing will injure you," He told them. We saw in part 25 that those who are obedient and following Christ can take comfort in the fact that the enemy cannot "injure" them by permanently wounding their faith.

We turn now to the last portion of this passage.

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven. Luke 10:20 NASB

We are to focus on the eternal life Christ offers and not on demon-bashing. It's a matter of perspective. The spirits are not really subject to "us". The spirits are subject to "us" only because of the name of Jesus. To have the right focus on our authority over demons, over healing, or any other kind of service, we need to keep our focus on the One who makes our service possible. Jesus Christ. 

We are not only to keep our focus on Jesus, but we are also to rejoice that our names are recorded in heaven. This, dear ones, should be a source of great joy for us, because the enemy of our soul has no power in heaven. He cannot erase our names that are recorded there, nor the name of anyone else that is already recorded in heaven. This is amazing news! When Jesus said that they could tread on the serpents and "nothing will injure you", He was not just talking about physical injury. No matter what tactic the enemy tries against our faith, he cannot change the fact that, for believers, our names are written in heaven. What a cause for rejoicing! 

As you go about your day, take heart, disciples of Christ. Your name is written in heaven. It is already written in heaven and nothing can change that fact. Rejoice in that truth. One day, as a follower of Christ, you will stand at the gates of heaven and find that your name is clearly written there. Those gates will swing open and you will enter eternity where our Savior lives and reigns forever, so rejoice now, as you await that glorious day. Rejoice!