Scripture:

[28] When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.”

Observation:

These were evil spirits speaking through the man.  Satan and his demons know Jesus and who He really is – Son of the Most High God.  Saying Jesus’ full name like this was part of his intimidation strategy.  As if Satan were in control.

Scripture:

[29] For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.

Observation:

Even though the demons tried to appear in control, Satan and his demons know that God is always in control.  That Jesus had full control of the man and them as evil spirits within the man.  That Jesus could allow them to stay in the man or remove them – and torment them somehow as they had been tormenting the man.

Scripture:

[30] Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him.

Observation:

Seriously, the demons were trying to scare Jesus off?  They are like.. we are as many as a Roman legion, you’d better leave us alone Jesus.  Yeah, right.

Scripture:

[31] And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.

Observation:

But wait.. intimidating Jesus with their sheer size and quantity may not work to scare him off so they try one last time to beg Jesus that they not be removed from the man and be sent to the abyss – a bottomless pit where evil spirits are confined. That would be their eternal torment.

Application:

The demon possessed man in this story was not yet a believer. As believers, the Holy Spirit dwells within us and it is impossible for demons to cohabitate with Christ within us.  So, we, as true believers in Christ, we cannot have demons within us, but we are still influenced by our interactions with non-believers possessed by evil spirits or by other evil temptations of this world.

The devil is as real now as he was when Jesus was in human form and his evil spirits are at work in this world.  The stronger we are in our belief, the more we spread the Gospel, and the more we do as the Lord wills, the more of a prize we are for Satan, so the more we will be attacked. He will use any means necessary to get to us.

But we have the power of the Spirit living in us so, just as Jesus showed His control in this scripture, we have full control over being influenced by evil.  We have the power to remove satanic influences in our homes, in our work places, and in our families.  We have control to command demons just as Jesus did.

This control doesn’t mean God will keep us from being tempted to desire things that are not of Him.  He will in fact allow Satan to tempt us, not as a punishment or to defeat us, but to strengthen us.

So, as we certainly will be tempted, we should expect the temptations and the attacks.  We need to be prepared and stay alert.  Temptation works like this… thought leads to imagination, leads to desire, leads to decision. While God will allow us to be tempted by the devil, He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to endure – He will always provide an escape. A Spirit controlled person has a choice at every step. We need to use the power of the Spirit within us to take control and stop before ungodly thoughts, however they were planted, become action.

Remember this (I think it came from Charles Stanley) – Satan won’t bother anybody who isn’t bothering Satin’s kingdom but will to anything to destroy those who do the works of God.  The more God uses you in your life, the more Satan will try to destroy you.

So, as a true believer working for God’d kingdom, expect to be tempted by evil.  Be prepared, take control with the power of the Holy Spirit, and overcome.

Prayer:

Lord thank You for filling me with Your Spirit.  I know that Your power lives within me and that I can use it to resist the evil influences in my life.  When I forget that, Lord remind me.  Keep me prepared and always alert.  I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name.  Amen.

 

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