Friday, February 24, 2012

You Can Be Set Free

Mark tells us of a troubled man who was possessed by demons (Mark 5:1-20). He was an outcast, living in the tombs and mountainous area. He appeared quite dangerous, breaking chains with his hands and cutting himself. I’m sure he was secluded here to get rid of him and he had given up hope of ever being normal again. He probably thought his tortured life would never change. But something interesting happened to him one day. He met Jesus.

The confrontation with Jesus was no accident. Jesus was there that day to set him free. This mad man, while wild and unpredictable in his behavior, was irresistibly drawn to Jesus (Mark 5:6). He feared the worst from his encounter with Jesus. Before Jesus asked for his name, the demon-possessed man spoke Jesus’ name. It was believed in that time that knowing the name of a person gave the knower power over that person. This trick didn’t work on Jesus, who is All-Powerful. Jesus asked for his name and the demons answered, “We are Legion for we are many.” If this description of over 6,000 demons was supposed to intimidate Jesus, it didn’t. No power can match that of the Lord and the demons knew they had met their match. What was impossible for this one troubled man to overcome was easy for Jesus. Not only did Jesus cast them out but He controlled their destination, hurling them into a herd of pigs. While disastrous for the pigs, it was ultimately liberating for the man.

Satan desires to destroy your life. It is his ultimate goal – to steal, kill, and destroy from you but Jesus came so you may have abundant life (John 10:10). God does have a wonderful plan for your life and Satan has a horrible one. Satan, knowing Jesus is coming again to ensure his demise (Revelation 12:7-9; 20:10), is trying his best to take as many people with him as he can. While the devil is at work, he is no match for God. Scripture says, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him" (Isaiah 59:19). God will not let Satan go unpunished or unchecked.

Jesus set this poor man’s life free. While he wants to join Jesus on His travel, Jesus sends him back to his home town to be a living example of Jesus’ power and freedom. Can you imagine what the people in his town thought when they saw him in his right mind giving praise to Jesus? What a testimony! What a transformation!

This isn’t just a story of the past but a reality for your present! Jesus can transform your life as well and raise a standard up against the devil in your life. Jesus’ liberating love can help you today. He already knows your name and the issues that are binding your life. He came to set the captives free and release prisoners from darkness. He wants to give you beauty instead of ashes, gladness instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair (Isaiah 61:1-7). Instead of trying to escape from the prison of sin only to flee in fear of being captured again you can be pardoned and set free. Your slate can be wiped clean and given a new beginning in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

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