photo 4

Luke 10 v 20. “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.”

First, we should notice that under the power of the Gospel “spirits are subject to you”. That means, as indicated yesterday, that the power of evil is routed as the greater power of the good news about Jesus confronts it. Darkness cannot stand before light. So as you progress in your Christian faith you will discover more and more that bad things are removed from your life.

But we should note, in the second place, that this should not be the main source of joy for the believer. Our joy comes not from the exercise of power and influence. How many people fall into this trap. They feel no sense of significance unless they are doing something that banishes poverty, sickness, division and racism. Is this wrong? No, of course not. But it is not the main thing. The main thing is to have our names written in Heaven. In other words the secret of real joy for all Christians lies in the great salvation that has been obtained for them by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now here lies a subtle danger for many people. They cannot conceive of Christianity apart from some form of activism. At one level, they are right of course, because true faith results in good works. But it is not only true faith that results in good works, false faith can too! Witness the many NGO’s and charitable organisations in the world today. Not all are Christian. In fact some are most definitely not Christian. Still, they do good work for which we are all grateful.

Now if, as Christians, we do not hold on to that which makes us distinctively Christian then what is the difference between us and them?

It is all very well to “overcome the power of the enemy” – be that enemy poverty, child trafficking, sickness, disease or lack of education. And indeed the more people involved in these activities the better. But what if we get all these things right and are able to abolish all these evils? What then? What good would it do ultimately if we rescue the orphans, feed all the hungry and heal all the sick, but have nothing to say to them about eternity? We must have a message of salvation! We must be able to tell how to have their names written in Heaven.

Is your name written in Heaven? No matter how heavy burdened your life may be, or what forces are working against your earthly happiness – your secret of inner joy is that Someone else knows you and has written your name in Heaven.