Sunday, February 24, 2008
"If it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Luke 11:20)
Apparently, demons were in ready supply in first-century Palestine. It seems that the human presence of the Son of God drove them out of the woodwork. The kingdom of God had come, and the devil did not like this one bit. Jesus’ appearance in the flesh spelled Satan’s doom, and so he lashed out in fury through visible manifestations and possessions.
It’s probable that the man with a mute demon came to Jesus—as often happened—after all other efforts at overcoming his affliction failed. How easy it can be to overlook the possibility that the source of our troubles is spiritual! Where sin and wounds have been woven into an intricate web of despair, hatred, and broken relationships, we should be able to see how evil forces have been at work behind the scenes, coaxing the problem along. While events may move someone to sever all ties with whoever has hurt them or to resolve the dilemma negatively, only Jesus himself is fully capable of overcoming the “strong man” of resentment, hatred, and unforgiveness (Luke 11:21).
There is no difficulty so longstanding or so entrenched that is stronger than Christ. Even if someone you know gave up hope long ago, you don’t have to. You can still take up that friend’s case before the Lord, offering him or her not money or advice but your very self—just as Jesus did.
Our minds are a marvelous gift from God, and we are meant to use them to find solutions to the problems we encounter in life. Yet only the “finger of God” can overcome spiritual interference from the devil. How blessed we are, then, that God has given us the Holy Spirit—who is far greater than our limited minds—to give us heavenly wisdom, divine strength, and godly courage to see victory over the temptations and harassments of the devil!
meditation: The Word Among Us