Do you have another human being who is as interested in your welfare as his or her own? Do you have someone in your life willing to risk death to protect you? How many people will you encounter over the next twenty‐four hours who have no one looking after them? How many of these people have parents who love them but don't understand how to love them at a distance—by creating opportunities and eliminating threats?
As we wrap up this series today, some of the study may have seemed a bit heavy to you if you don't have children, or if your children are doing fine. But I am challenging you to look around for those “children” of all ages who are not doing fine, and adopt a few—if you don't have enough of your own.
When you're trying to figure out how to control the devil from directly influencing your children, remember the advice my friend gave me about controlling a horse: “If he's doing something you don't like, make him stop!” But it's not so easy to identify how the devil is directly influencing your children. They probably don't even know. There are a couple of methods you can use to help eliminate direct demonic threats.
First of all, ask God to show you the specific threat, because a generic “Devil, leave my child alone!” kind of prayer is not very effective. When He shows you, then you can exercise your authority over the situation.
Please note: The more specific you can be with the threat, the better. In Mark's account of the demoniac son (see Mark 9:17–29), a man brings his son to Jesus. The father describes the condition as having a spirit making the child mute, foaming at the mouth, grinding his teeth, and becoming rigid. The average person would consider the epileptic‐type seizures far more serious than being unable to talk, and would pray against the seizure-like condition. But when Jesus casts out the demon, He refers to the demon as both deaf and mute. Ask God for specifics before blasting the air waves with generalities. You wouldn't consider a surgeon to be very effective in removing a threat to your body, if he didn't know what he was after before cutting you open.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
When you are submitted to God, you can resist the devil and he will flee from you. Sounds simple… but I've done plenty of resisting and the devil did not flee. I only began to get results when I began to better understand my relationship with God. (Please review the section on attitude in yesterday's article.) When we begin to understand—and I think we're always just beginning to understand—the greatness of God and our importance to Him, we develop an attitude (in a good way). We can't expect any results if we just yell Bible verses at the devil from inside our house across the street. We must be willing to open the front door, cross the street, look him in the eye, and say, “Get!”—knowing God is backing us up.
You also have the authority to resist the devil in anyone else's life and the devil must flee. I'm not saying you can walk out onto the observation deck of the Sears Tower and free the entire city of Chicago from demonic influence. I am saying you can carry the presence of God in such a way that the devil has to flee from not only you, but from anybody in your prayer space.
Think about it this way: Any time you pray for another person and see results, you have resisted the devil; how long he stays away is up to the other person. If you resist the devil in another person's life he has to flee, but if the person is not helping the situation, the devil will be back as soon as you leave. God can show you in what way the demonic realm is coming against your child, and you can resist it. But the relief is usually only temporary unless or until your child starts exercising some control in that area of his or her life.
After last Thursday's class, “Charlie” asked us to pray for pain he'd been having in his lower intestinal area. I told the pain to leave, in Jesus' Name. Then I asked Charlie how he was feeling. He said he felt about ten percent better. I asked God to show me what was causing the pain, and I sensed “inflammation/irritation in the large intestine.” After telling the inflammation and irritation to leave, Charlie told me the pain was completely gone. I then coached him a little bit on how to use that same authority himself, in case the pain returned.
Now this is a hands‐on example, but you have the same authority at a distance that you have up close. Charlie didn't get any relief until God showed me exactly what the devil was using against him. I then used my authority to eliminate that threat in Charlie's life. But what I did may only have been temporary depending upon what Charlie does.
To pray against threats your children are clueless about is good. But to pray against threats your children have become aware of is better—much better. Ask God to open their eyes. When they understand both the threats coming against them and the power of God available to them, your children are protected.
In 2 Kings chapter 6, Elisha asked God to open the eyes of his servant, so the servant could see God's provision and not just the threat. In this case, Elisha eliminated the threat personally, but it seems reasonable to assume the servant could have done the same thing.
Ask God to open the eyes of your children so they can see what is really going on. Lot's of good things can happen when your children can see what is really going on. Jesus is pretty hard to resist when we see what is really going on.
Please build on what we've discussed over the last eight days. Help create opportunities for your children. And exercise all the authority Jesus has given you to eliminate the threats coming against them.
Have a good day,