ODJ: confronting the darkness

July 3, 2013 

READ: Matthew 16:13-28 

Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from Me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to Me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (v.23).

If we believe in the existence of heaven and hell, then we must also believe Scripture when it speaks of an active spirit world. Just as Jesus acknowledged that Peter did not receive his messianic revelation through ‘flesh and blood’ (God the Father revealed it), Paul reminds us that “we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

The powers of darkness are real, and in a moment of great regret, Peter (one who understood and believed in Jesus as his Messiah) gave in to his humanity by putting his own desires above the will of the Father. Not all demonic influence manifests in contorted bodies and violent threats (Matthew 17:15-18; Mark 5:6-20). For Peter, it was the seemingly simple observation that surely Christ had not come to die. More than highlighting Peter’s failures though, this particular interchange with Jesus also reveals the infinite power of Jesus. He’s greater than any spiritual enemy (Psalm 18:39-42).

Spiritual battles aren’t reserved for the super spiritual. Jesus has already done the work; we simply have to walk in it (Colossians 2:13-15; Revelation 12:11).

—Regina Franklin
Matthew 7:1-12 ‹

Read John 8:36-44 to see what specific spiritual challenges Jesus confronted. How can we apply the weapons Paul lists?  
What spiritual challenges are you facing? How will you rely on God’s power to overcome them?