4 – What do demons do?
“12 For we[c] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT
Since we learned what the Bible says that demons are, it’s also important to learn what they do.
Demons use whatever means they can to stop or hinder the purposes of God
“10 Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. 11 And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.
12 Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13 But for twenty-one days the spirit prince[a] of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels,[b] came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.[c] 14 Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” Daniel 10:10-14 NLT
We can see from Daniel’s account that demons have strength and they fight against the purposes of God. They use whatever means they have to stop or to hinder the work of God in and through the people of God.
Demons can inflect illness and disease
“33 So Jesus cast out the demon, and then the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed. “Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!” they exclaimed.” Matthew 9:33 NLT
In the Gospels and in Job, we see that demons have the power to inflict illness and diseases upon people. Matthew teaches that demons have the ability to inflict illness and disease on the man it possessed. This was also seen in the Old Testament when the enemy was given permission by God to bring illness upon Job’s body. These passages serve a strong reminder that when we encounter sickness and disease, our typical first response is to turn to doctors and medicine. Because some illness and disease are demonic in influence, it would be wise to be quicker to intercede in prayer and to believe God for healing. Do you have an illness or disease that might be an affliction from the enemy?
Demons ignite persecution and tempt believers into immorality
“10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 NLT
In Revelation, John encourages believers not to be afraid, although he acknowledges that “the devil will throw some of you into prison to test you.” By igniting persecution, the enemy wants to stop or hinder the plans of God and cause believers to flee from their faith. Are you facing persecution or temptation to turn away from God?
Demons accuse and slander believers
“10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
“It has come at last—
salvation and power
and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.[a]
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters[b]
has been thrown down to earth—
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:10 NLT
The Devil is the “accuser of our brothers and sisters.” It may be subtle, but it very well could be a demonic influence when you hear whispers that condemn you. “God cannot love you after all you’ve done.” “You’re not worth anything.” “You’re not good enough.” “Who would want to love you?” “Why don’t you just give up?” “God is done with you already.” Are there demonic influences that are whispering in your ear and accusing you, trying to discourage you from turning to God?
Demons entice people to believe false doctrines or counterfeit plans rather than doing the will of God
“4 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1 NLT
As the Holy Spirit draws people to Christ, demonic influences draw people to false doctrines or counterfeit plans of God. However they can get people to deny Jesus… whether by reason, self condemnation, submitting to another religion, or even being too busy and consumed with other matters, the enemy wants to draw people away from the Jesus and the truth of the cross. Is there anything drawing you away from Jesus?
Demons are sometimes used by God to carry out His plans
“7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.” 2 Corinthians 12:7 NLT
The thorn in Paul’s flesh was “a messenger from Satan” that was sent to torment him, but God used it rather as a tool to keep Paul from becoming proud. It is interesting that although Satan wanted to attack Paul, his “thorn in the flesh” became a tool in the hand of God.
Demonic power and demonic influence, while scary in nature, can still be used by God to carry out his plans and purposes. God often uses the enemy as a tool in His mighty hand to refine the faithful and to awaken His saints who may be sleeping. This is a comforting thought. Demons and fallen angels are less of an opponent to God and are still under the complete control of God. Is God using the enemy to refine you right now?
Holy Spirit empower me through my trials and give me strength in the face of demonic attacks. Grant me strength to do the miraculous and to be an overcomer in all things. In the strong name of Jesus Christ, amen.