“When a corrupting 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 swept and dusted, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits dirtier than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse than if he had never gotten cleaned up in the first place.” Luke 11:14-16.

According to Jesus, just as it is impossible to be neutral when it comes to my attitude to Him, it is also impossible to remain empty of a spiritual ‘master’. The human spirit was created to be in submission to God. Satan’s lie is that a person can be his own master. He sold that lie to Eve and it landed her, Adam and the whole human race under his dominion.

The attitude of the human being is expressed in Psalm 2:3, “Let’s get free of God! Cast loose from Messiah”, with the mistaken notion that he can be independent of any controlling spirit.

The opposite is true. If Jesus is not invited in to become the master of my heart, once I have repudiated demonic occupation of my heart, I must not think that I can go it alone. He will return and if he finds no-one in charge, he’ll invade with a whole hoard of controlling spirits worse than himself.

How does this work in practice? Many believers think that they cannot be influenced by demons, but this is not true. What happens when someone is falsely accused, insulted or offended in some way by another person? The first reaction is to be hurt. Anger follows, to cover up the hurt, self-pity, feeling like a victim, the desire to pay back, taking it out on someone else, usually a family member…these are all sinful responses to emotional pain.

An even worse scenario when life deals a believer a blow is to blame, turn on and abandon God as though He were responsible for the suffering. “Why did God allow this to happen?” is the question asked, as though God somehow manipulates people’s wills to do things His way. Man chose to turn from God, (and he still does) and there are always consequences, often involving innocent people.

This leaves the vacuum of which Jesus was speaking and demons, under Satan’s direction, capitalise on the opportunity to invade and occupy. How often it happens when a believer abandons faith in God because of false expectations; he throws all caution to the wind and becomes more sinful than he was before he believed in Jesus.

This is a warning every believer ought to heed. God is not responsible for our woes but He is always ready to bring good out of evil if we choose to keep trusting in His goodness. He never disappoints those who put their trust in Him.

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Luella Campbell

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