PROTECTING AN EMPTY HOUSE




Sometimes flesh and blood explanations are not enough. Sometimes well-thought doctoral dissertations are not enough. We need a soul doctor that understands our spiritual reality.

Jesus encountered people who were horribly affected by the powers of the dark world. Some were incapacitated and uncontrollable. They were filled with destructive chaos. 


Many stories are recorded in the New Testament as people were freed by God’s power from frightening conditions. Through Jesus’ teachings, parables and interventions we begin to see into the hidden realm of angels and demons. His warnings about enemy activity alert us to our need for vigilance and protection.

In The Message, Eugene Peterson recounts one of the Lord’s teachings on the nature of evil spirits.


Matthew 12:
43-45"When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn't find anyone, it says, 'I'll go back to my old haunt.' On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he'd never gotten cleaned up in the first place.
   "That's what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren't hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in."
(The Message)


Who is Jesus talking to here? Primarily this thought was intended for those who sought to impose a rigid, demanding religion upon the community. In their flesh and blood attempt to improve their lives and clean house for God, they failed to bring God into their house.

Whatever else the parable might say about exorcism, Jesus' point is what it says to that generation: although Jesus was exorcising the generation, its evil leaders were setting it up to be demonized all the more by rejecting Jesus' reign.[i]

It’s a common rule of real estate that empty houses experience more vandalism and degradation. A house needs an inhabitant to care for it. If your life is spiritually empty, you are at greater risk for all kinds of problems. Likewise, a religious person without God’s Spirit living inside can become the darkest of all people.

We see that the evil force longs to get back where it can have power over you. Evil enjoys bad company and there is a clustering effect when chaos is allowed to rule. Evil seems to have self-identity and a will to destroy.

The chaos dragon has an insatiable appetite. Addicts know about escalating darkness. The demand for substance only increases and chaos multiplies. The person who brings one bad behavior under control soon finds it resurfacing in another way. “I stopped injecting heroine, but now I drink and smoke pot everyday. I sleep with everything that moves and go to the Casino everyday.” Seven more lousy tenants replace the cleansing of one bad indweller.

There is strength in numbers. That is true of evil and more so of good. When you belong to God’s Kingdom you have an army to back you when you call.



[i] IVP New Testament Commentary

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