Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Excitement in the Boat, part 29: The Name

And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. (Luke 8:30 NASB)

When the demoniac met Jesus, he fell at His feet. Jesus looked down and said, "What is your name?"  The man answered, "Legion".  Of course, that wasn't the name his parents had given him. It wasn't the name by which God called him. It was actually a word that described his demon-controlled life. He had lived that life for so many years that he had become known by it. He identified with it. It was "who he was" in a terrible, sad sense, at least in his own mind. 

One of the unfortunate things about being held captive by forces other than our Lord is that we find it so hard to break free. Our failure to break free is often interpreted as an inability to be free, and that translates (in our minds) into the idea that we cannot be free. Before we realize what is happening, we begin to identify with our bondage and think, "This is who I am."  What we so often forget is that the things we do are not necessarily the things God intended for us, nor how He sees us. It is not necessarily how He intends to leave us, either. 

On this blessed day, Jesus looked down at this man and said, in essence, "Legion? No that's not who you are. I'm going to remove that and you will be a brand new man. You are about to be the man you were born to be." And so it was. With a word, the Legion was gone, the man was freed, and he was, in a spiritual sense, reborn. He had much to learn about staying free and serving his Redeener, but he was free indeed. 

How does this translate to our lives?  Look at your own life for a moment. What is the thing to which you go back, over and over? For some, it will be bigotry, a critical spirit, gossip. For others, it will be anything from gluttony to sexual sin to fiscal irresponsibility. Just because you do not have the power to break free from that which controls you, from that which is killing you, does not mean that our God lacks power to set you free. He does not. 

Even in his demon-controlled state, this man was able to take the first vital step to freedom, and so can we. He fell at the feet of Jesus, and let Him take it from there. It was an act of absolute surrender, and it was the one thing that had been missing. Neither chains nor shackles could contain him, but one word from God could set him free, and it can do the same for you.  

Today, pray that we and our loved ones will fall at the feet of Jesus in total surrender of who we have become and allow Him to transform us into who we were created to be. 
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Link to last night's post: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/08/lessons-from-battlefield-part-5-uzziah.html
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Our terrorist/terror group of the week is the former ISIS, now the Islamic State. Their leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. To learn more about them and their goal of spreading radical jihad and sharia rule throughout the world, click here: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/08/radical-obedience-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi.html