Cast out the demons

FULL BLOWN demonic possession is real — but it’s extremely rare.  For years, Hollywood has fascinated us with horror stories about evil spirits. In many cases, what might look like possession is actually a psychiatric condition. But make no mistake, demonic activity does exist.

Meanwhile, some say Satan isn’t real at all. Others say this is his greatest victory… that is, his ability to hide and work in the shadows. If someone doesn’t exist, I don’t have to worry about him, right? But when I see the atrocities we humans are capable of — this confirms to me that evil exists. And it exercises deadly intelligence. 

Even the average person might talk about the demons they carry inside them. This doesn’t mean we are possessed. Instead, we talk about something we deal with from our past. Or it might be something that hurts our emotional health and relationships. Many times it’s both. Either way — from full blown possession to something we want to get free from — God’s Word shows us the way.

In the Scriptures, Jesus frequently confronted impure spirits that tormented people. And in every circumstance, the demon recognized an all important truth. They fully acknowledged Jesus’ ultimate authority. And I find this incredibly ironic.

Think about it. So many people are spooked by the possibility of ghosts and demons. Even those skeptical about God might be truly afraid of evil spirits. They don’t want to mess with demons. But on the other hand, they have no fear (= respect) of God. And what about the malevolent spirits? They only fear one thing.

I remember my son telling me a riddle once when he was very young. I have no idea where he got it from, but the wisdom it contained is astounding. In his little boy voice my son told me,

“Mice are afraid of cats. Cats are afraid of dogs. Dogs are afraid of their owners. The owners are afraid of monsters. And do you know what monsters are afraid of? The Light!” 

Here we discover a secret to getting free from the things that haunt us. The Lord Jesus Christ has authority. Being spiritual beings, the demons recognize this instantly. And Jesus casts them out with his Word.

So if I want to get free from something, I need to recognize the authority of the Son of God. Obeying his Word sets me free.

If there is anything evil in me, 9 times out of 10 it’s because I let it in. Or I let it stay there without doing anything about it. The evil one enters through sin — and this leaves us wounded. Our pride tries to cover it up. We tell ourselves we’re fine. We can deal with it — or even worse, that we don’t care. But it does not have to be this way — not at all.

Christ enters that same door to save us — he enters the wound to heal. He confronts the sin to save.

So we have to let him in. And he waits patiently for you. He will never force anything upon anyone. But upon recognizing and accepting his authority, he comes in and cleans house. He casts out the demons with his almighty authority. He cleanses and heals your wounds with tender, loving care.

How stubbornly we resist this though! How hard it is to give up and say, yes! Yes Jesus, you are my King, my Lord. But we don’t want to. We want to think we are in charge. Even to the point of keeping the demons inside, just so we can keep Jesus out.

Yes, we appeal to his goodness and mercy. Yes, we may call out to him when we are afraid. We might even ask for forgiveness. We might even invoke his name to cast out evil. But unlike the demons, we don’t always recognize his authority. We don’t want to obey him — even though the demons must. 

Jesus is the Master. Christ is the Messiah. Submitting to his authority may be the hardest thing to do. But when we do, we step into true freedom. Because, yes, he is merciful and good. He forgives all — as only he can do this for you.

So instead of only asking him for what you want — try asking him what he wants — both for you and from you.

When we obey Jesus, the fullness of his grace comes rushing in. You become healthier. The demons leave you. And you are free to proclaim the Lord’s holy name. 

. . . . . . .

In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”

Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

Mark 1:23-27

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