Something I came across in my Bible reading this morning made me pause and reflect. Jesus was teaching in the temple in Capernaum when a demon-possessed man cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!" (Mark 1: 24). Later that same day, Jesus healed other demon-possessed people, but "he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was" (v 34). The demons knew who Jesus was? How were they able to recognize Him when the religious leaders didn't?
The Bible does not give any explanation as to why the demons were able to recognize Jesus. However, the verses above made me think of what happens when we meet someone for the first time and we form an impression of that person. It may be good or bad. We may either want to meet that person again, or wish we'd never met them. Why is that? Could it be that God has placed a form of discernment in us so that we recognize whether someone is a kindred spirit or not? And they in turn identify us in the same way?
This may account for the fact that co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances may not be able to get along. Our attempts at reaching out to a certain person may be rebuffed, while another may receive us with open arms. When Jesus predicted that he would be killed, Peter took Him aside and said, "Never, Lord. This shall never happen to you. But Jesus turned and said unto Peter, Get
me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men" (Matthew 16: 22 – 23).
By rebuking Peter this way, Jesus was not addressing Peter himself, but Satan's scheme to use Peter to disrupt the plans of God. Peter, without knowing it, had employed the same temptation that Satan used with Jesus in the wilderness and as a result, earned the same rebuke.
If you find yourself facing persecutions and temptations from others, the devil may be using these people to disrupt God's plans for your life. James 4 : 7 says, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
How do you resist the devil?
By staying close to God through constant prayer and Bible study, you gain the power to resist the devil. Soon you will find that those people who troubled you will cease to have any effect on you. They will "fade away" according to Psalm 37 : 2, and you will be able to live your life in peace.