Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 8 October 2014

Just then a man in their synagogue, who was possessed by an impure spirit, cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”– Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. – Mark 1, verses 23-26.

The demon called out to Jesus; did you see that?   It wasn’t that Jesus called out the demon.   No, it was the other way around.   The demon recognized Jesus for who He was and proclaimed it. That matters.   It’s a small thing to overlook, but it matters.

It matters because evil always surrenders to good. Darkness ALWAYS surrenders to light.   In a pitch black room, a flickering candle always gives light and becomes the focus.   In a world of hatred, murder, abuse, and death, kind acts of the heart always mean more than all the suffering Satan can pile on.   The demon in the synagogue recognized that. When it recognized the Light of the World, it squealed.   It could not ignore the light; it could not ignore the loving compulsion of the Son of God.

What did Jesus do? He didn’t freak out.   He didn’t yell and scream.   He didn’t try to rationalize or diminish it:   Jesus faced the evil.   The Son of Man confronted the evil and didn’t back down.   Then he calmly but forcefully commanded it to be gone.   And it was so.

Tell me:   what’s the difference for us?   I’m not saying this to be flippant or trite.   What’s the difference?   Sure, you and I aren’t Jesus.  We aren’t God Immanuel; we don’t have the kind of power He does.   But you’d be wrong if you honestly believed that.

We have Him.   Therefore we have that kind of power. Don’t believe me?   Face down your temptations today. Whatever pet sin is tempting you right now – spending, drugs, stealing, screwing around on your spouse, lies, deception, whatever – face it down and say “no more.”   It’s not a Pollyanna approach.   This is real life.

In the real world, this is how real people overcome the real evil that plagues them.   First we face it, then we overcome it. To truly overcome evil, we only need Jesus.   We need His love and His light to shine down the darkness that constantly tries to overcome us.   To say no to our temptations; to put our sins behind us; to truly repent and move forward; to help other people meet Jesus; to live our lives to help others do the same.

One by one, evil by evil, we overcome evil when we believe in Jesus and turn our battles over to Him.   We ask Him for His strength, His power, His forgiveness, His love, His presence to help us fight.   When we stand, we stand wearing the armor of His light, and evil will surrender. Yes, it may fight back and it may fight fiercely; it’s evil.   Yet it will always surrender immediately or in time. Sometimes those battles are minute by minute; sometimes they’re tough.   Some of them might threaten to take everything we have.   For Jesus, everything isn’t much of a price to pay.   Don’t forget: He already paid it.

He already paid it because He knew that evil must surrender to good.   It always has.   It always will.

Lord Jesus, thank You for fighting for me.   Stand with me – stand for me – to overcome the evil that threatens me.

Read Mark 1, verses 22-26 again

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