Text: Mark 16:15-18

Memory verse:
”Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.“
‭‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

It will be callous for a commander to send his boys to carry out an assignment without backing them with the necessary authority and power. It’s unimaginable that anyone would think that God will likewise tell us to do something without appropriate backing.
According to our text today, Jesus sends us out to preach and gives five signs that will follow us as we obey. Four out of the five signs have to do with the manifestation of our authority.
Firstly, we shall force out demons.
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons…;“ (Mark‬ ‭16‬:‭17‬).
‭‭It takes a higher authority and power to force out an occupant from his or her abode. No one will obey an order to vacate one’s residence unless it is given or backed by a higher authority. This is what Jesus meant here. ”…But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.“ (Luke‬ ‭11‬:‭22‬).
For Jesus to tell us to expel demons from their habitation means He has given us the authority and power required to do that; a higher power. He knew that demons will obey us if we act according to the rules.
Secondly, He said, “they will take up serpents”. The NLT puts it as, “They will be able to handle snakes with safety”. Serpents stand for the most dreadful demonic powers. It will take a higher authority and power to neutralize, make impotent or to paralyze a power that has the potential to cause so great a harm. Jesus won’t endanger the believers’ lives by telling them to handle them without a superior power.
Thirdly, “they will drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them”. The deadly drink is converted to an ordinary drink as it enters into a man of higher authority and power.
And fourthly, “…you will lay hands on the sick and they will recover”. Sickness is often caused by the oppression of the devil (Act 10:38). When hands are laid on the sick in faith, the power of the oppressor is destroyed and the oppressed is set free.
Friends, God has not called you to shame or disgrace but to glory and virtue. Go ahead to do His assignments: you have His backing.

Prayer points
1. Father, help me to be conscious always that I have Your full backing as I carry out Your assignments, in Jesus’ name.
2. With my God-given authority, I resist the devil and command him to flee from me, in Jesus’ name.

Today’s declarations
1. I know that God won’t send me out on an assignment without fully backing me up.
2. The devil and his demons bow down because I have a higher authority and power.