Today’s Scripture – December 13, 2016

Matthew 12:43-45 (NIV) “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.  And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.  That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

It is not only nature that abhors a vacuum.  The same truth applies equally in the spiritual realm.  A soul cannot remain empty of influence, and if God’s influence is not consciously installed and maintained, then the influence of the enemy will prevail.

If a demon is cast out of a person and they don’t consciously and intentionally seek to be filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit, there is nothing to keep that demon, and even more, from returning to taking back their residence.  On the other hand, if a person once freed from demonic influence seeks God and is filled with the Holy Spirit, that holy presence will effectively prevent demonic presences from returning.

But this is true even without demonic possession.  If a person comes to Jesus for salvation, but then simply turns back to their old life, not filling their life with the things of God, the same evil force that had held them captive, the same sins that had cut them off from fellowship with God, will simply take control again and draw them back onto the road of death.  They might be classified by observers as shallow soil, or weedy soil (cf. Matthew 13:1-9), but in the end they will be lost.  On the other hand, those who turn to Jesus and completely surrender to Him, who receive the Holy Spirit as an earnest payment (Ephesians 1:13-14), and who nurture that presence through prayer, study of the Scriptures, and obedience to Jesus’ commands, will find that they thrive spiritually, and have an amazing ability to resist the temptations that the enemy throws at them in his bid to draw them away from God and back to him.

Father, thank You that Your presence in my life and heart is able to give me power to resist the enemy so that he flees (James 4:7).  And with You inside, I don’t have to fear him, and never have to go back to being who I was when You found me.  Thank You for Your love and grace.  Amen.

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