Monday, August 29, 2016

“Have You Come to Destroy Us?”

By Melanie Rigney

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it because it is judged spiritually. The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone. (1 Corinthians 2:14-15)

The Lord is just in all his ways. (Psalm 145:17)

In the synagogue, there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and
Francisco Goya [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
he cried out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing any harm.
(Luke 4:33-35)

Lord, fill me with faith to replace the demons You are exorcising.

“You can’t get to the resurrection without the crucifixion.” I don’t know who coined the phrase, but I’ve heard it so often. I’ve prayed over it so often. Probably you have too.

Today’s Gospel reading reminds us that we all face our own little crucifixions. Most of us won’t experience demonic possession in the most literal way. But if we let them, those seven deadly sins—pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth—can take up great spaces in our brains, hearts, and souls.

Is that highly prized new car, home, or job a demon? Maybe, if it takes priority over God’s desires. Are the anger and sorrow over the loss of a loved one demons? Maybe, if they take priority over God’s desires. Is your favorite television show or that second daily cup of specialty coffee a demon? Maybe, if it takes priority over God’s desires.

And so, may we have the courage to throw down our demons, filled with the faith and confidence that ridding ourselves of them does us no harm and in the long term will bring resurrection and great joy.

Quiet your demons today by turning up your faith volume—in prayer, with Christian music, in reading the Bible or with another spiritual work, or in the confessional.

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