Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 6 January 2015

 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.  Mark 3, verses 11-12.

Now that’s a superpower I wish I could have.  Do kids ever ask you that question:   what superpower do you wish you could have?   Every now and then my son will ask it; usually the conversation turns into joking or bathroom humor when that happens.  Here, however, I’m being serious.   I wish I had the superpower to make impure spirits fall down before me and cry out for mercy.

News flash, sports fans:  I have it.   So do you.

The whole Jesus thing – the “ask whatever you want in my name and it’ll be given to you” thing – is real.  It’s true.  It really is a super-power.   You can use it now.

Our world demands to be taken at face value, that is, at realism.   We are constantly implored to reject the supernatural as being impossible or illogical.  God is dead; Jesus is a myth; faith is a crutch for the weak; religion is an opiate for the masses:  our pessimistic (and Leninist) human nature tells us these things.  Yet isn’t it fascinating that the biggest movies of our time are stories about the supernatural, or super-heroes, or super-powered fantasies.  Why, it’s only the beginning of 2015 and already some smart folks are prognosticating that the biggest movies of this coming year will be about the super-heroic Avengers, Ant Man, and the next installment of the super-infused Star Wars saga.

We crave the ability to make evil cower, to put the demons that haunt us at bay and make them submit.   It’s something that we aren’t able to do on our own because of our own human failings, so we yearn to be better than we are, to have super-human abilities like Superman, Iron Man, Batman, Darth Vader and the like.  How disappointing it is to always find that life isn’t a movie or a comic book.

Yet how wonderful it can be to learn that such power is within us, that such abilities are at our fingertips when we walk the walk of Christ.  I’m not the Son of God; neither are you; let’s not get the big head and think more of ourselves than we are.   Yet the Son of God truly does promise us that what we ask for in His name will be given to us, including the power to make demons cry out in submission to His Name:   just like what happened here in Mark.

Don’t believe me?  Confess your skepticism to the woman who has faced down the demons of her past to finally quiet them.   Tell it to the alcoholic who pushes away the drink instead of swallowing the poison one last time.   Tell it to the man who is tempted to cheat just one more time and then quit, but quits now instead and does something better.   Tell it to the person who prays to God for strength and to whom is given the opportunity to be strong.   All of them – all of us – face down our demons day by day, and with the power of Christ in our voice and in our veins, we battle, persevere, and emerge victorious.   Just like Jesus did and just like He taught us.   That is a super-power I am thankful to already have.

Lord, strengthen me with Your strength, and be my sword, shield, and will in my daily battle.

Re-read Mark 3, verses 7-12.


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