Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dealing with an unclean spirit, part 5: Victory in Jesus

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. (Luke 11:21-22 NASB)

In these verses, Jesus gives a brief but vivid summary of the power of sin and the victory of the gospel in the lives of mankind. He portrays the devil (Satan) as a "strong man" who is fully armed to guard his territory, the lives of the unredeemed. The power of the evil one is strong and he has weapons that are effective for securing his hold on our lives. Guilt, condemnation, temptation, and lies are the weapons he uses to entice us into ongoing sin. He creates a stronghold thereby, through which he secures his position. 

Jesus, however, is stronger than the "strong man" and is fully capable of attacking and overpowering the evil one. When we allow Jesus to have His way in our lives, He "takes away", completely removes, those things by which we have been held in bondage. The condemnation, guilt, temptation, and lies of the enemy are cast out and replaced by the Spirit of God. Liberty comes with the Spirit, and it is the kind of freedom that only Christ can give.

There is a battle for our hearts and it is waged with deadly seriousness. The enemy would prove himself strong, for he is skilled in this warfare and knows how to use his weapons with precision. Having struggled with temptations of my own, I can confirm his skill, as you likely can, too.

In the midst of this battle, there is good news. The enemy of our souls has been overcome and defeated by the power of the cross. We do not have to live as those in bondage. We can be free, for Christ has broken the chains of sin and death. If we are willing to accept His gift of life and love, we can live in the freedom that He brings. 

Will a relationship with Christ remove the influence of condemnation, guilt, temptation, and lies from the enemy? Not exactly. What Christ removes is the power of the evil one. If we are willing to resist, Christ will give us the victory. Every time.

There is a strong one loose in this world, creating havoc at every opportunity. Praise God, though, there is one stronger who has overcome and set us free. If we are free, let us live as those who have been redeemed. Let us reject the lies, embrace the truth, and live in the freedom that only Christ can give.