Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
In the beginning of Luke, Chapter 10, we read about Christ appointing 72 followers to go to the towns that Christ is about to visit. I guess they were like an advance team, sent to let the citizens know what was coming and to give them a glimpse into the Kingdom of God.
Through their faith, Christ gave these 72 the power to cast out demons and heal the sick. But in verses 19 and 20, Christ is also warning them about not allowing this power to go to their heads. The power is not theirs. It was given to them by God through their faith. Christ is warning them to not become prideful in what they can do. He warns them to not allow these heavenly powers to make them expand their worldly desires. Christ tells them do not gloat over that which they have power, because it is not their power.
What they are to rejoice in, is that they have seen and understood the power of faith. For very, very few have witnessed and understood this power.
In these verses, Christ is telling us not to gloat over meaningless victories in life. It’s not about defeating someone or something. It’s not about receiving accolades for your skills, your intelligence, or your stamina. It’s not about you.
Your rejoicing does not come in your victories and your sorrow does not come in your defeats. Your rejoicing comes in experiencing and understanding the gift and skills God has given you.
Your rejoicing comes in making the most of your talents. Your sorrow comes in wasting them. As clichéd as it, it’s not about whether you win or lose, but how you played.
You can gloat and taunt like a child in victory, or weep and sob like a child in defeat. For children do so, as they are looking for approval from the world.
…do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you…
This is just vanity, caring about worldly things.
…but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Rejoice for you have experience the Kingdom of God.
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