Rebuke the devil, love the person
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. -Matthew 16:17
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. -Matthew 16:23
So, within a short space of time, Peter changed;
– from being a trusted Holy-spirit-filled disciple whom God the Father reveals things of Spirit to,
– to a person being used by the devil to obstruct Jesus from fulfilling His purpose and mandate.
What happened? He was ‘in the presence of the Lord’ during this time but that didn’t stop the devil from using him, or at least try to use him, did it?
So, if it can happen to Apostle Peter, it can happen to most of us, even those around us we deem are spirit-filled and directed by the Holy Spirit. It can also happen to those who are churchgoers and even at church, right? Like Peter, most of us may and will likely be Holy Spirit filled one moment and being influenced by the devil the next.
How do you know though when the devil is speaking though your acquaintance or loved ones and when God is speaking? Would Jesus have rebuked the devil had Peter been one of Jesus’ elders? You bet He would have. Imagine rebuking your elder, or that famous aunt of yours, just like Jesus Christ did Peter; ‘get away from me Satan’!
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. -John 10:14
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: -John 10:27
If Jesus Christ could detect the evil spirit behind Peter’s words, we also will be able to detect the devil spirit behind the acts of those we love and trust! Jesus says He is a good shepherd, His sheep know Him, hear his voice and follow Him! No one can deceive us if we really know our shepherd, our Lord and our God! Any voice that is foreign and not of God we will recognize. We have to pray for discernment!
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. -2 Corinthians 11:14
So, if satan himself can be transformed into an angel of light, that is, disguise or masquerade himself as an angel of light, his deception may be too good for most of us to recognize. The only way to see though his disguises is to cling on to our shepherd, follow his commands and pray without ceasing!
Remember that, if someone does something wrong, it is not him or her, but the evil spirit in him or her. Moreover, when we recognize such evil spirit, we should rebuke it promptly, yet keep on loving the person! Easy? Definitely simple, but not easy!