A Tale of Two Powers

Do you know that you have two powers that want your attention?  One is good that wants you to follow Jesus and the other is Satan trying to destroy you no matter what you do.  Satan is always lurking around looking for ways to get into our lives.  Wanting to turn us away from God and bring us down to destruction and down to his level.  I for one don’t want to go in that direction.  Living in total darkness and destruction is a scary thought to me.  In my devotional reading today Jesus tells how he healed a man from demonic forces and restores the man to his right mind.  We need to be ever mindful of Satan’s attacks on us.  Standing strong in the Lord and putting on the full armor of God to protect us from Satan’s attacks.

Read the following devotion from today’s reading by Phil Ware:  What do you think?

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Child of God,

Two powers are at war over your eternal destiny — God and Satan. The story below illustrates the different goals of these two powers. No matter how alluring temptation may seem to you, the ultimate goal of the tempter — Satan the evil deceiver, the devil, the evil one — and all the forces of hell can be seen from the condition of the man called Battalion.

When you meet the man identified as Battalion, the forces of evil are literally hell-bent on his destruction. This is Satan’s intent for you. However, the ultimate goal of your Father in heaven is for you to be in your right mind, for you to be learning from Me how to have purpose for your life, and for you to live out that purpose in your daily life.

Notice the way Battalion is described at the beginning of this event:

  • He is isolated — literally driven into isolation by the demonic powers that control him.
  • He is filled with destructive power.
  • He is naked.
  • He lives and sleeps in a cemetery — the place of the dead.
  • He is uncontrollable.
  • He has lost his sense of self-identity — he doesn’t even know his real name.
  • He is aware of all of these problems in himself.

Yet as much as this man is in bondage to demonic powers, notice this one truth: he can still come to Me and fall at My feet despite the power of the demons in him wanting to be rid of Me! I AM more powerful than all of these demons. So notice what I do to bless this man despite the demons trying to use My identity to gain power over Me and send Me away.

  • I deliver him from the demonic powers oppressing him.
  • I return this man to a normal life and a right mind.
  • I welcome the man into My fellowship and friendship.
  • I send the man out on a mission to share his good news and My story of grace.

Satan’s goal for you is clear: he wants to do with you what he did with Battalion. He wants to introduce hell on earth into your life. His temptations may look enticing. There may be no apparent signs of Satan’s destructive and evil intent in these temptations — at least not at first. Yet behind each temptation there are traps designed to enslave you. I can help you break your bondage to these traps, but you are much better off if you avoid the traps all together!

I have a goal for you. I want you to be My disciple. I want you to sit by Me and learn the way of true life from Me. I want to defeat the powers that hold you in bondage and enslave you to self-destruction. I want you in your right mind — back in control of your life and your decisions. I want you to find your purpose in Me. I want to bring you back into a positive and influential relationship with your family and friends. But you have to choose Me… you must call out to Me for help… and you must ask Me to take control of your life and be willing for Me to do so!

Not everyone will be happy if you choose Me. Some prefer to live out-of-control lives rather than to yield their lives to Me. In addition, the lure for you to go back to that old life — to have that uncontrollable power at work in you again — is just as destructive as it is strong.

You must recognize that you cannot defeat the power of evil on your own. Yet, I can defeat it. In fact, I have defeated it through My death and resurrection. Do not despair in the face of great evil. Cry out to Me. Trust Me. Follow Me. Learn from Me. Share your story about Me with others. And when you do, you can know this: I will never leave you or forsake you.

Verses to Live

Notice how the “friends” of Battalion react when he is set free of the demonic spirits. They order Me to leave after I have liberated him and put him in his right mind. They cannot deal with Me. They don’t know what to do with a power they cannot control or understand. So rather than inviting Me into their small little world, they ask Me to leave. What about you? Will you ask Me into your world or order Me to leave?

When they [Jesus and His disciples] get to the other side of the lake, in the Gerasene country opposite Galilee, a man from the city is waiting for Jesus when He steps out of the boat. The man is full of demonic spirits. He’s been running around for a long time stark naked, and he’s homeless, sleeping among the dead in a cemetery. This man has on many occasions been tied up and chained and kept under guard, but each time he has broken free and the demonic power has driven him back into remote places away from human contact. Jesus commands the demonic force to leave him. The man looks at Jesus and starts screaming. He falls down in front of Jesus.

Possessed Man (shouting):

Don’t torment me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! Why are You here?

Jesus (calmly and simply):

What’s your name?

Possessed Man:

Battalion.

He says this because an army of demons is inside of him. The demons start begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit. They plead instead to enter into a herd of pigs feeding on a steep hillside near the shore. Jesus gives them permission to do so. Suddenly the man is liberated from the demons, but the pigs—they stampede, squealing down the hill and into the lake where they drown themselves.

The pig owners see all this. They run back to their town and tell everyone in the region about it. Soon a crowd rushes from the town to see what’s going on out by the lake. There they find Jesus seated to teach with the newly liberated man sitting at His feet learning in the posture of a disciple. This former madman is now properly dressed and completely sane. This frightens the people. The pig owners tell them the whole story — the healing, the pigs’ mass suicide, everything.

The people are scared to death, and they don’t want this scary abnormality happening in their territory. They ask Jesus to leave immediately. Jesus doesn’t argue. He prepares to leave, but before they embark, the newly liberated man begs to come along and join the band of disciples.

Jesus:

No. Go home. Tell your people this amazing story about how much God has done for you.

The man does so. In fact, he tells everyone in the whole city how much Jesus did for him that day on the shore.
(Luke 8:26-39)

Response in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I know that You stand at the door of my heart and knock. I know You won’t break down the door and barge into my life. I know that I must invite You in and welcome You to my table. So Jesus, I ask You to claim me, cleanse me, come to me, care for me and commission me to serve You in a way that brings You glory and brings others to know You and Your saving grace. Amen.

I surely don’t want to allow Satan in my life.  I don’t want to be controlled by him nor do I want to listen to what he has to say.  I have opened the door for Jesus to come in and I want Him on myside rather than face the destruction that Satan can do to me.

What about you?  Care to join me in this journey?  What are your thoughts!

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