Why do we need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit? Because the Kingdom of God is still at hand and the work required to be Kingdom people is impossible without the Holy Spirit. Kingdom people are those who follow the teachings of Jesus, who believe him at his word that we will do even greater things than him (John 14:12).
The Spirit-filled life of Jesus was to do many things, and one of them was to cast out demons.
This world continues to be marinated in division and darkness. Where are we, Church? Lamenting about conspiracy theories? Feeling sorry for ourselves? Having the form, but no power? Trying to figure out how to grow the truth with petty strategies? Preaching “movements” or preaching Christ?
If there was ever a time for the Church to reclaim her authority in Jesus to cast out demons and shine the light of Jesus, it is now. We don’t need something new, we need to reclaim something old, namely, the power given us by the Spirit.
If the Kingdom of God is still at hand, the Kingdom of Darkness must be dealt with. Notice what Jesus says to the demon in Mark 1:25, “Be silent, and come out of him!” Jesus dealt with the darkness and has given us the victory over the darkness (1 Cor. 15:55). In dealing with darkness and demons and the devil, we aren’t trying to fight for some victory, we are fighting from victory, the victory Jesus has won for us on the cross and in the tomb.
We must remember who we are up against: principalities and powers who are in line with the father of lies. This is serious stuff so may the plundering of the strongman’s house be reclaimed. May demons be cast out in the name of Jesus. May the Kingdom of God be at hand in our homes, our communities, our regions, this nation! May Jesus shine through our lives as Kingdom people. May forgiveness of sins be offered in the name of Jesus. May the Holy Spirit find a people surrendered to His indwelling. May there be a fresh anointing upon God’s people in this land. May Satan shutter with fear that a people are awakening to who we are – saints in Christ. May the Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven!
There is a present, cosmic darkness that is darker than we could ever imagine and it must be dealt with. Yet, there is One who is brighter and more powerful than we could ever imagine. Jesus dealt with demons and has already given us the victory to deal with them as well. We have power. We know the One who has authority and has given us authority.
We are baptized, anointed, Spirit-filled Kingdom people who continue the work of Jesus by calling out the darkness, casting out demons and loving people through and through, let’s live like it.
Hearts are breaking. Souls are tormented. The darkness is having a field day. But the Kingdom has come, may the church wake up to this present reality.
Luke is Pastor of Discipleship to the community of saints, in Christ, at Nashville UMC.