Ban The Devil!!
February 6, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. - 2 Timothy 2:22-26.
Inglis, Florida has taken a positive step toward the elimination of evil in their community. Actually, it was the mayor who banned the devil. On the official town stationary the mayor has written a proclamation banning the devil from Inglis, Florida. It seems like a reasonable thing to do, at least to those of us who have had a few problems with the old beast. However, the ACLU is a little upset, and Howard Simon, who has been a director of the ACLU for 27 years says, "This is the most extreme intrusion into religion by a public official that I have ever seen.” Hmm, wonder what religion the ACLU practices? A resident of the town, in defending the mayor and town pride says, if you don‘t like the proclamation, "Next time she comes up for election, don’t vote for her.”
In reality, it is not that easy to ban the devil from a town, or our lives. Why? Because he is after all the devil who is a lying, conniving, stealing, killing destroyer (John 10:10a; John 8:44). He sneaks into our lives snaring us, and taking us captive through the allures of the flesh, and the world. Many have been blinded by the devil, and are not even aware that they are his captives. In 1 John 2:11 we are told, "he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
How can we find release from the darkness, from the evil one? The first step is to turn to the light. Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12).” Receiving Christ as our Savior turns on the light switch (John 3:16-21). But to keep the light on, we must do as Jesus says and follow Him. The apostle Paul shares some excellent ways, in which we can follow our Lord more closely, and in so doing escape the captivity and darkness of the devil. Paul says run from the evil, and run to the good, pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
Have you been ensnared and taken captive by the enemy? Ban the devil, and give it the force of law in your life by resisting him, and submitting yourself to God (James 4:6-7). Make it official, write it out as your own personal proclamation banning the devil from your life, and inviting the Lord in. Sign it, date it, and you might even want to frame it, and hang it up on a wall to remind you of your own personal Independence Day.
Let’s all ban the devil and won’t that make the ACLU mad!?