The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”M – Matt 8:31 NIV
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Today’s devotional is a continuation of the devotional titled “Do Not Chase Him Away” where the need for Christians to avoid actions or decisions that will seem like Jesus Christ is being chased away from individual lives or from the Church because of desire to retain earthly possessions. This advise became necessary in view of the action of the people of Gadarenes who had chased Jesus Christ away from their midst after being told that he had delivered two demon possessed men from the oppressive clutches of the devil, with the demons running into the herd of pigs nearby – Matt. 8:28-32. The sore point for them which led them to taking that decision seemed to be the loss of revenue from drowned pigs. The event however threw up some other major highlights which should interest the Christian today and some of them which were listed in that devotional will be the focus of today’s devotional with the foundation text being the revelation that the demons were pleading with Jesus on what should be their fate – Matt. 8:31
Although they were reported to have been so violent that that no one could confront them, their reaction was different when they met Jesus. Identifying him as the son of God, they questioned him on what he wanted from them, going further to ask whether he had come to torture them before their appointed time – Matt. 8:28-29. They, it was that also pleaded to be sent into a nearby herd of pigs and the implication of their entry into those pigs was the drowning of the pigs in a nearby lake in a manner that seems the mental state of the pigs was affected by their entrance – Matt. 8:32.
This event as earlier stated reveals many points of interest for the Christian today some of which are listed below:
- It is possible to have many demons occupy an individual at the same time. Whereas the Holy Spirit is one, there is indeed the existence of many negative spirits and as many as possible seem capable of occupying a single individual – Matt. 12:45. The record of Evangelist Mark on the same issue noted that the demons introduced themselves as Legion which translates that “we are many” – Mk. 5:9. With the spirit being the activating part of the human trinity, the implication of the existence of more than one spirit in an individual is the issuing out of conflicting instructions to the soul of the person thus presenting a situation where such an individual performs conflicting acts at once. Such a person is eventually regarded as being a psychiatric case and this notion was further confirmed by the action that was on display by the herd of pigs which hitherto were peacefully feeding nearby, before the demons entered into them. The bible notes that they ran into the nearby lake and drowned – Matt. 8:32
- Excessive violence can sometimes be the evidence of the kind of spirit in man. Although it is not unusual for man, probably as a reaction to an unacceptable situation, become violent, such violence is expected to be moderate especially once there is an attempt to mitigate the situation but unwarranted or excessive acts of violence must be viewed from the perspective of an occupying spirit in the individual and same can be said of other negative acts of men, especially when they begin to border on the excessive. It may be understandable if someone who is very hungry and lack means of getting food is caught stealing but things should be viewed slightly differently when a rich individual with sufficient cash in pocket is proven to have been caught stealing, especially something that is very much affordable. That may be called many names including kleptomania but what should never be overlooked is the possibility of a spiritual foundation for those acts. Such will be a candidate for deliverance sessions rather than simply applying penalties or punishments only. Such combination therapy should be the approach to several other similar actions if a more efficient and permanent solution is desired.
- No matter the spiritual ability of the demons, they still submit to the authority of a higher spirit especially the Holy Spirit. Demons like all other spiritual entities are not equally gifted and the presence of a demon with more spiritual gifts make demons of less spiritual status quickly retreat and surrender. However, no matter the spiritual level of the demon, they remain lower, in spiritual capability, to the Holy Spirit which is why possession of the Holy Spirit becomes the ultimate power and the one that possesses the Holy Spirit operates with the confidence that no power can overcome for as long as the individual continues to operate in that Holy Spirit – Acts 1:8.
- Demons are able to recognise and differentiate between different people based on the spirit in them. This remains a fundamental truth that the Christian today must acknowledge and operate in. It should also serve as a test for any Christian to use in determining the quality of their Christian life. It is completely impossible for the one who has the Holy Spirit to be overcome by any spirit whatsoever as the Holy Spirit will not fight itself. There is no other version of the Holy Spirit so it is either the Christian has the Holy Spirit or not. The beauty of spiritual battles is that the individual going through it does not have to be conscious of the events going on. The individual just finds him/he self taking steps that cannot be physically controlled as they are effectively under the control of the occupying spirit. Jesus had not even said a word when the demons in the two men started running riot. In a single breathe, they had made three unsolicited revelations;
- They immediately let him know that they are aware that he is the son of God – Matt. 8:29a.
- In the same breathe, they made him realise that their time was not yet up. They know their rights in that area so they to not expect him to take any step at terminating their existence – Matt. 8:29b.
- They quickly negotiated their exit, and in that way they were able to decide their future rather than allow him take a decision on their future which may not suit them – Matt. 8:31.
With the above in mind, one begins to wonder why individuals who claim to be Christians see evil spirits as major points of reference during prayers. The action will be acceptable if such an individual admits to the fact that he/she is yet to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit in which case such cannot claim to be a Christian yet – Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4. The one that is a Christian should have the evil spirits begging even without saying a word and not the other way. This in most cases may not even be known to the Holy Spirit bearing individual as this is a purely spiritual activity. All that will be seen may be too individuals in a conversation, debate or a quarrel with one accusing the other of discomforting him/her with the absence of any physical evidence to back such accusations. Only the deep will understand the content of such accusations. The ignorance on display by individuals during prayer sessions is what brings them out as non-Christians even when they verbally lay claims to such. This is because the individual with knowledge obtained through the Holy Spirit will be aware that there is a scheduled time for a demon to exist and so will not be praying that a demon should die when its time is not due. God is not man. Everything has time and season and no matter how forceful the individual prays or the extent of fasting and night vigils held, the order and timing of God for creation will never change and only the ignorant Christian will waste time in prayer asking that the devil or any of its spiritual agents should die. It simply will not happen until its time and even then, it is not that prayer that will bring it to pass.
Meanwhile, the true Christian should know that all those demons should run from him/her and not the other way round. The demons should tremble at the presence of such because of what the Christian is supposed to be carrying. The one that is expected to be in you is in all ways greater than the one in the world – 1Jn. 4:4. If they are not running from you, it may be the best sign to let the Christian know that he/she may not be who he/she claims to be.
The solution is not to waste time with all those ineffective sessions expecting the death of all those demons but to go on the knees and plead to be baptised with the Holy Spirit. He will grant such request if the one praying is honest and genuine and then such can begin to have all those demons begging rather than he/she begging or running from them.
May God empower us all spiritually to have demons begging us rather than the reverse in Jesus name. Amen.