We are in a war!
We really are in a war – not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:11-12). We call this dark realm the world of the devil and our battle is palpable.
Whenever we tread on the toes of our Enemy, inevitably there will be a backlash. Whenever we rescue people from his domain, we will incur his displeasure, usually in the form of people attacking us but sometimes emotional or physical retaliation. This happened to Jesus, too.
Jesus was in a boat heading straight to the Gadarene area where there were 2 men seriously tormented by demons. The men were so mentally troubled that people didn’t go into that area for fear of being attacked. Satan possessed these men and through them he could afflict the people of the area. Did Satan sit quietly aside and allow Jesus and the disciples make their way into this area and take away his 2 powerful weapons?
No! Rather, Satan sent a huge storm. In Matthew 8:24, the severe storm in the Greek is seismós mégas and you don’t need to read Greek to understand that this was a mega scale seismic event! Can you imagine how the boat must have been shaken? The storm-seasoned fishermen were terrified and in fear of perishing.
We know the outcome with Jesus silencing the storm and vaporizing its power and then Jesus dissipating the demons that persecuted the men and dispersing them into a herd of grazing pigs, but it is my point here to show that Satan doesn’t let us rescue people from his kingdom quietly.
When we touch the jewels in the treasury of Satan, he is full of venom towards us. Rather than being distressed, we should see such persecution through others or through the natural elements as proof that we are actually walking on God’s side, and Jesus tells us we should be happy about that:
“Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12 Amp).