“But 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
The Prince of Demons .... Exorcisms .... Unclean spirits .... Signs from Heaven .... Finger of God.
Luke’s gospel reveals imagery that is faintly reminiscent of a horror film. Every time I listen to this gospel, it leaves me a little unsettled, if not a tad unnerved.
Jesus performed many exorcisms, freeing many who were troubled and oppressed. He, too, battled with Satan. But people reacted to his healings maliciously. “Is it by Satan, alias Beelzebul, that you release these individuals?” Now, it is Jesus’ response that puts me in his court. One, you accuse me of something that others of you do…does this incriminate them also? And secondly, I am stronger than Satan, and I use God’s power for HIS purpose, let’s make that perfectly clear!
It is by the finger of God that he has power to drive out demons. Remember in Moses (Exodus 8), where Pharaoh and his magicians represent the dark forces? Like Moses freed the Israelites, Jesus is freeing those chained by Satan as the finger of God. God is at work. His kingdom is at hand. This is a New Exodus.
Finally we listen to Jesus’ story about a vacant house left by an evil spirit, only to be re-inhabited with more of the same. If we think of it in terms of getting rid of a bad habit, we all know what happens when we don’t substitute something good to replace the addiction. Nothing short of strong discipline and prayer will accomplish it. There is no middle road. It’s either Satan or God. I was a smoker for twenty years, off and on. It had a demonic effect over my life. It wasn’t until I turned to the power of God that I was able to kick it. I remember the day. I implored him to set me free. I have been smoke-free for nine years.
Whether it is anxiety, dependence on earthly things or other human beings, Jesus offers deliverance. With what do you fill the void in your life with? Do you long for a life free of possession?
Come, Holy Spirit.
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