Saturday, August 9, 2014

Excitement in the boat, part 19:

And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. (Luke 8:27 NASB)

The word translated as "possessed" is echō. This is a word used numerous times throughout Scripture. The same word was used in Luke 5 to indicate that the Son of Man has (echō) authority to forgive sin. It is a word that indicates having something in such a way that it is owned or possessed. It is also used to indicate something that is held in the hand or worn (like a cloak) or something to which we are joined in such a way that it becomes a part of us. The authority of Jesus over sin was not just a momentary authority. He possessed it in such a way that it was clearly an inherent part of who He was. 

In that same way, the demonic influences had gained such control over this man that they, too, had become joined to him. It was as if they owned him. They were so joined to him that they could direct his actions and, at least to a degree, control his thoughts. In fact, they controlled him to such a point that he was living in a dreadful condition among the tombs. 

Here is the amazing thing. Even with the demons controlling him, the man met Jesus as soon as He stepped onto the land. The demons may have ripped him from his home, forced him into the land of the dead, and ripped away every shred of decency, but they could not keep him from Jesus. Demonic power is certainly real and strong, but it is not absolute. In the presence of Jesus, that power can be broken. In the presence of Jesus, that power is broken. 

The question we must answer is what controls us?  Is it the power of God manifested by His Son Jesus? Is it the power of sin and darkness exerted by those demons in the cemetery? If we allow it, we can be so echō, so possessed by the Spirit of God and joined to Him, that He becomes an intrinsic part of us, directing our thoughts and actions. Can you imagine being so filled with the Spirit of God, so filled with His love, that it is evident in every word and action?  That is exactly how we are supposed to live. But do we?  

Pray today that we and our loved ones would be so filled with the love and Spirit of God that all around us would be drawn to Jesus and that His grace and mercy would flow from us to bring healing to a wounded world. 
Link to last night's post:
We are still praying for Hamas this week, as well as for the peace of Israel. One thing I'm praying for the leaders of Hamas is not only conviction and transformation but weariness in fighting and a desire to do good rather than further destruction.