God promises to give us freedom
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. Isaiah 61:1-3
All promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Please read Mark 5:1-20.
In our reading today, we see one of the many miracles of Jesus. By merely speaking, the Messiah cast a legion of demons out of a man and into a herd of pigs. Close your eyes for a minute and see this story played out in your mind--wow, wow, WOW! Here is my favorite verse in this passage: "And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid (v. 15)." The people were filled with fear because of the incredible power they had just witnessed; the man was filled with peace because of the inexplicable freedom he had just experienced. Let us remember that Jesus is the same today.
With that being said, I so wish that we could experience miracle after miracle after miracle like this one, but really, is that what Jesus is trying to teach us in this story? Are instant miracles really the building blocks of our lifelong faith? They most certainly contribute to our faith, however let's just look at Jesus' day: the very people who saw these miracles are also the ones who crucified him. (Let's face it; we all crucified him.) I think the main point of this true story, and other miracles, is to speak into our greatest bondage, which is SIN. Our sin sickness is way worse than we can imagine, but Jesus' power over sin is even greater than that. And when we confess and BELIEVE we are forgiven, we, just like the man in the story, are flooded with peace. Now, we can WALK IN FREEDOM--miracle of miracles! Notice what the man did after he was healed: "And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled" (v. 20).
So here is our hard personal question, "What do you and I need to be released from today? Is it anxiety? control? bitterness? doubt?" Each one of us could have a different answer. For me, among many things, I need freedom from worrying about the future. My daughter Emmy Baxter is getting married next month, but due to the pandemic, what will that look like? I need God's power to take over, and his peace to flood in.
Take time to "get real with God" and look into the mirror of His word. As pertaining to our passage today, ask the Lord, "In what way am I 'living among the tombs?'" (v. 3). The flesh is so very strong and the enemy is equally deceiving, but remember the Spirit is stronger and the truth sets you free! The battle will be real and ongoing until we cross heaven's threshold, but the Victor lives within us right now. Allow His power and peace to help you moment by moment by moment. And then, let's learn to count each of these moments as miracle after miracle after miracle, because they are.
The stone has been rolled away. It's time to step out into freedom...will you?
For further reading; John 8:31-36; Psalm 142:7; Romans 7:14-25; Galatians 5:1
Thank you for the promise of freedom. Fill us with your Spirit as we walk away from both the pull of our flesh and the lies of the enemy. Abide in us, and pour out of us. May we eagerly exclaim your name to our world, because there are so many other desperate people who are "living among the tombs." Amen.