Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20
Years ago, I was invited to speak to the residents of a university’s fraternity house. They had a reputation for rowdiness so I brought along a friend for support. They were in a celebratory mood, having just won a football championship. At dinner, chaos reigned! Eventually, the president of the house announced: “There are two guys here that want to talk about God.”
I rose on rubbery legs and began to tell them of God’s love, and the room grew still. There was rapt attention. A vigorous and honest Q & A followed. Later, we started a Bible study there, and in subsequent years many received salvation in Jesus.
I recall many days like that when I “saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18), but there were other days when it was I who fell—flat on my face.
Luke 10 tells of Jesus’ disciples returning from a mission to report great success. Many had been brought into the kingdom, demons were put to flight, and people were healed. The disciples were pumped! Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” But then He issued a caveat: “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (v. 20).
We delight in success. But we may despair when we seem to fail. Keep doing what God has called you to do—and leave the results to Him. He has your name in His book!
Picture your name written on God’s heart. How does that encourage you to carry on when things go well? And when things go wrong?
Thank You, God, when You grant me victory over my enemies, but also help me to be strong when I fail. I’m grateful to be in Your family.
Luke 10:1 tells us that Jesus sent “seventy-two others” ahead of Him. These “others” were in addition to the twelve disciples He sent out in Luke 9:1–6. This means that Jesus sent at least eighty-four people ahead of Him to deliver His message to the people.
In response to the disciples’ enthusiasm over the demons being subject to them in His name (10:17), Jesus tells of seeing Satan fall from heaven (v. 18). The imagery recalls the words of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 14:12. He tells of how the postexilic remnant of Israel will taunt Babylon saying, “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” Judaism associated the downfall of Satan with the coming of the Messiah. The subjugation of demons to Jesus’ name and power were proof that He was indeed the Messiah.
Visit ChristianUniversity.org/CA202 to learn more about Jesus as the Messiah.