THE WEEK OF OCULI – THURSDAY
LESSON: EPHESIANS 6:12-17
“If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? […] If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Luke 11:18,20
From Christ’s words in this Gospel, it follows that where God’s finger does not drive out the devil, the devil’s kingdom still stands, and where the devil’s kingdom is, there is no kingdom of God. It follows quite conclusively that as long as the Holy Spirit has not come to us, we are not only incapable of accomplishing what is good but are of necessity in the devil’s kingdom.
If we are in the devil’s kingdom, we cannot possibly do anything else but what pleases the devil; otherwise, it could not be called his kingdom. Paul suggests that such people are caught in the snare of the devil, being captured by him to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). How could the devil permit the subjects of his kingdom to follow their own inclinations in doing what is against his kingdom and not for his kingdom?
Christ here makes a most striking, shocking but important statement when He assigns a kingdom to the devil that cannot be avoided when the Holy Spirit is absent. He also declares that God’s kingdom cannot come unless the devil’s kingdom is driven from us with God’s own power from heaven.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in your glorious resurrection from the dead, you proclaimed your victory over sin, death, and the devil. Fill our hearts with such trust in your victory that we go from strength to strength in the power of your truth, for your love’s sake. Amen.