Independence Day makes me think about how many people are driven and bound by the enemy of their souls. Many people live under the power of the devil. By that, I mean that they are living under one problem after another, one habit or addiction after another, one failed relationship after another.
Our society is filled with people living lives of torment, poverty, uncontrolled sin and fear. Jesus said that the devil is a thief and a robber, in John 10:10. He was talking about how the enemy comes to steal everything good from your life – and to ultimately steal your soul, so you go to hell at the end of a miserable life.
The thief comes to steal your faith, your holiness, your character, your marriage, your family, your health, your possessions, and your place of living. His goal is to bring you to poverty of mind, body spirit.
Luke 8:26 -28 talks about a man whose life became totally under the forces of the enemy. His life became a living hell. When the devil gets a hold of your life, that’s how it becomes – like hell on earth.
This man had lost his family, his house, his clothes, his friends, his possessions – everything! He was living in fear and loneliness and poverty.
There are Christians who don’t live much differently than that. They’re bound by their lack of zeal for the things of God, lack of faith, lack of commitment to the things of God. Jesus died for them, but they are living in spiritual poverty and weakness.
The enemy will do his level best to rob you of faith, power and spiritual zeal. If he can keep you out of Christian fellowship, hinder you from feeding on the Word of God, and discourage you in your praying, soon those little sins and habits, like weeds in a garden, will crop back up in your life.
This man who had been brought under the devil’s power was living in a graveyard. He was already living like he was dead. Then, Jesus came on the scene. The man fell down at Jesus’ feet. In other words, this man worshipped Jesus – matter of fact, even though he was controlled by devils, he worshipped Jesus more reverently than a lot of church folks do!
But, then, listen to what he said: “What do I have to do with you, Jesus, you Son of God?” That’s the way a lot of people are – “Jesus, let me be low profile, I don’t want You to pay attention to how I’m really living. Don’t examine my life too closely!”
Then, the man said, “I beg you do not torment me!” Now here this man is, miserable, naked, alone, lost and poor, but he doesn’t want JESUS to “torment” him!
That’s the kind of twisted thinking the enemy uses to hold people back and keep them under. Their families are fighting, their money isn’t stretching far enough, their jobs are falling through, but they aren’t sure they want Jesus to totally rule their lives! What do you have that’s worth holding onto?
The enemy HATES for you to draw closer to the Lord! Because, when you finally let go of trying to walk in your own strength, that’s when you can begin walking in Jesus’ strength! When you’re totally 100% faithful to Jesus, the enemy knows he’s no match for you!
But, if Satan can get you to hold back a little bit here, or cling to a favorite sin there, you’ll never be a match for the wiles of the devil!
That’s why, in the Parable of the Sower, Jesus said that after the Word of God is sown, or planted in a person’s life, the devil comes IMMEDIATELY to steal that word! He comes immediately, before it gets a chance to produce faith, before you get the chance to ACT on that faith. Before it gets a chance to deliver you from those sins and habits.
When the Word of God comes to you and you act on it, it brings power in your life. No word of God is void of power. The Bible is your key to operating successfully in the spirit realm and to receiving the blessing of God here in this life.
An old story goes like this: During an eclipse, the earth complained to the sun. “You’re not shining on me like you usually do.” The sun said, “No, I’m shining on you just like I always do! You’re in darkness because the earth has come between us!”
If you’ve lost the joy of your salvation, if you no longer feel the warmth of God’s love, isn’t it because this earth and worldly pleasures have come between your soul and your Lord? When you’re in darkness, it isn’t because the light of God has stopped shining. It’s because you’ve allowed the things of this world to eclipse the light!
The Bible calls Satan the prince of darkness. He isn’t going to Heaven and he doesn’t want you going to go to Heaven either. When you’re operating in faith, and living obedience to the Bible, you’re walking in the light.
Walking in the light puts you out of the devil’s jurisdiction; he has no authority over you when you’re walking in the light. That’s why its important to stay in Jesus’ righteousness.
Verse 30 tells us that the devil’s forces were operating in many areas in that man’s life. See, it’s very rare for the devil to just attack you in one area. It’s when you open the door in one area, that he comes in and opens the doors to other areas.
When a person is finally caught in a situation where the enemy is causing them to lose their job, or their marriage is breaking up, or they’re in the grips of lust, stealing or what have you, you can be sure the problem isn’t in just that one area or just that one incident.
That’s what you learn in verse 30. You can’t harness sin in your life. It’ll spread and destroy one area after another. One sin leads to another and they all ultimately lead to death. In James it says that we are tempted when we are drawn aside by our own lusts or desires. And those desires when they come to pass, bring forth sin, and the sin, as it grows, brings on death.
It works that way in any area you let it in. that’s the story of the death of a person’s integrity, or of the death of sobriety, or the death of a marriage, you name it. That’s how it works, as the devil appeals to a person’s in order to entice you and take away every good thing you have.
In verses 31 and 32, the devils beg Jesus to not send them back to the pit, but to let them go into some pigs instead. But, guess what happened when the devils entered the pigs: the pigs ran off the edge of a cliff and drowned in a lake!
Even pigs don’t want to live a life bound by the devil! It’s beneath the level of a swine to live the way devil would have you to live!
Verse 35 is touching to see how quickly Jesus changed the man’s life. Jesus blessed the man! The devil would have you to believe that Jesus wants to take away your life. But Jesus isn’t a taker, He’s a GIVER! He’s the biggest Giver in the universe! He said in Matthew 6:33 that when you seek the Kingdom of God first, and His righteousness, the things that you have need of will be ADDED to, not taken from, you! Jesus is an “adder to-er”, not a “taker from-er!”
In Matthew 7:11, the people weren’t sure God was a Giver and a Blesser. Then, Jesus asked about how we treat our children: don’t we give good things to OUR children? Don’t we want OUR children to do well? Then, Jesus said, “if YOU know how to give good things to YOUR children, how much more will your Heavenly Father GIVE good things to those that ask Him?”
God wants to meet your needs and deliver you from the hindrances of the enemy.
The people who knew the man could right away see the blessing of God in his life. He was clothed and finally in his right mind! God will put you back in your right mind!
Verse 36 says that the eyewitnesses told the others “by what means” the man was delivered by a WORD of God! The word of God is what brings your deliverance.