Have you ever noticed how the devil and those influenced by him love to talk, talk, talk? They seem to never know when to just shut up and get lost. Their messages and messengers often follow us believers around and, oddly enough, they can sometimes tell the truth plainly. But thank God he has given us the power in the name of the Lord Jesus to shut them up and send them on their way when it’s absolutely necessary to do so. We have several examples of this in scripture.
1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. …12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. Luke 4
Satan often does his most persistent temptation when he finds us in the wilderness with no one else around. But when we’re alone, we’re not really alone. Just as Jesus had the Holy Spirit with him, those of us who believe in Christ have the Holy Spirit with us at all times. When we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit, he gives us the words (especially from scripture) to fend off attacks of temptation from the enemy. But we have to avoid resisting or quenching the Spirit in those times (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Satan wanted to control Christ’s narrative. He wanted control of Christ’s destiny, but Jesus was not having any of it. So he sent Satan on his way–for a season.
Satan wishes to control our narrative as well through our flesh and the world, but like Christ we can send him on his way to give control of our narrative in the correct hands–God’s hands. When we resist Satan, he will flee from us–at least for a season.
40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. Luke 4
Notice here how the devils were telling the truth. Jesus was indeed the Christ the Son of God. So why was it necessary for him to shut them up when they told the truth? Because their intentions for telling the truth were sinister. The devils wanted to control Christ’s narrative, his testimony. If he let them control his narrative, they would ultimately control his whole ministry and the people who were helped by his ministry and who were part of his ministry. So he commanded them to shut up to ensure that God and God alone would control his whole narrative.
This is why we should be careful about who we allow to speak about us when they are in our midst talking to those around us. If they are under the influence of the enemy, they may be speaking the truth about us, but their intentions may be to gain control of our narrative to make it easier to bring us down in the future in order to exalt themselves in the eyes of who we minister to. So, like Christ, we may need to silence them and send them from our presence in the name of Jesus to give God control of our narrative.
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. 19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers… Acts 16
Once again, we have an example of someone being used by the devil to tell the truth. But Paul became fed up with it and sent the devil away in the name of Jesus. Why? The devil was trying to control the narrative of Paul and his fellow missionaries, to bring attention to itself by telling the truth about Paul and his companions. It was a way of mocking them and their godly goals. So the devil had to be cast out to preserve their narrative for God’s exaltation. But the results were mixed. The young lady was freed from spiritual bondage, but the citizens were ticked off and took them to court where they had an unfair trial and were imprisoned.
This tells us keeping our narrative in God’s hands won’t always be easy, but it’s worth it even when the results aren’t always peachy. Bad stuff sometimes comes with shutting the devil up, but God will still be glorified just like he was after Paul and Silas were thrown in prison for silencing the devil. More people just ended up being saved.
Harry A. Gaylord