May 27, 2020 (Wednesday) - Total Protection - A Reflection on John 17:11-19

(Jesus said:) And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Are you afraid of the devil? There was one time — only one time — I was. This happened soon after my conversion. I had a preacher visit me one day. He was a man of God and I learned a lot from him. As he was leaving he suddenly turned around and said, “Aneel, I want you to bless your house every day.” “Ok,” I said. “But why?” “To protect it from the devil,” he answered. “Why?” I asked. “What can the devil do to my house?” And, in his best preachers voice he thundered, “The devil can burn your house down!” And I thought, “Oh, my goodness.”

I immediately bought a carton of mineral water, got it blessed, and forget about blessing my house every day, I blessed it three times a day: morning, noon, and night. I am pretty sure the Holy Spirit was very amused, but he didn’t say anything until a week later. As I went about sprinkling water around my house, he asked me in his quiet voice. “What are you doing, Aneel?” “Blessing my house,” I said. “Why?” “To protect my house!” “From what,” he asked. “Didn’t you hear that guy,” I replied. “He said the devil could burn my house down.” And still very quietly he asked, “And what is God gonna do? Sit down and let him burn your house down?” Oh, I tell you.

That is the last time I have been afraid of the devil, because I got God by my side. Besides, I have come to realize that he really has no power. The only power he has — listen to this carefully — the only power he has is the power we let him have. He is like this rabid dog who continuously barks, and he can seem very terrifying, but we need to remember he is barking outside the house. As long as we don’t open the door and let him in, he can’t touch us. We credit him with more power than he has. Remember, he is a defeated enemy.

Paul writes: “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, (Jesus) made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15). These are ALL the forces of darkness that he defeated, and gave us, his followers authority over them. So, if the devil has entered the house because we opened the door to him —  we can do this in a hundred different ways — tell him to get out. And he will. He has to. Our Lord said (I have quoted this many times before): “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10:19).

Furthermore, John wrote in his first letter: “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Who is the one in the world? The devil. And who is in you? The Holy Spirit! So, tell me, what do you have to be afraid of? The reason I speak about this is because I have people constantly telling me about how they are cursed, or being attacked, or suffering because of the devil. In today’s passage Jesus prays to his Father to protect us from the evil one. And his Father - who is OUR FATHER - does protect us. 

So, from now on, don’t even talk about this guy. He’s a waste of breath. And, oh yes, you don’t have to do this three times a day, or even once a day, but it is a good idea to bless your house from time to time. It’s a way of saying: Everything I have belongs to you, Jesus. May he bless you.