31“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” Luke 22:31-34
60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:60-62
I do believe at one time or another, you have either seen, heard or warned a baby against doing something. There is a sense of concern, love and care that you for that specific person and that’s the reason you take time to go and warn the person on the foreseen trouble or anything that you see that is not good for the person. You will realize that as much as you hate someone, you do not wish them bad; you always wish and pray that all goes well with them and at the end of the day, they come to realize who they are and what they have done and thus come to their senses or recognition of who they are. You will realize that Love is so strong and no matter how hurt, how much you hate someone, you do not want that specific person hurt or any harm to befall him/her.
God couldn’t wait and see us agonizing in hell and we are his creation. Thus, because of his immense and deep for us, he had to send Jesus to come and pay the ransom for us so that we could be re-united with him again. What manner of love this is? Paul reminds us that “But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us” Romans 5:8. What else could we ask from God more than this? You will realize that in the scripture above, as Jesus and his disciples were taking supper, before he was arrested and crucified, he warned Peter of what was to happen and told him to be on guard. Apparently, Peter thought that he was strong enough not to deny Jesus and he answered him and said… “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” You will realize that that’s where most of us are. We are warned or told of what is to befall us but we are so full of self confidence that we cannot fall into the trap or whatever danger is looming around us can’t befall on us.
Paul urges us and tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he falls.” We need to realize that no one is perfect enough to stand on his own; That is why we need God’s grace each and everyday to be renewed in us. This is the mistake Peter did. He did not know that he needed God to hold him and he thought he was so strong to stand. Same as Peter, that is how man is. We are all vulnerable and we shouldn’t boast in ourselves being strong at any one point lest we fall. The Problem with man is that we do not heed to warning. When we are warned, we take things for granted and when whatever we were warned against comes to pass, that’s the time we regret. How many times will we go back to God in regrets after we had received a warning of the same?
We need to grow up and take each and every word, warning, advice as it is. At times, God will just warn or speak to us on things that we need to action on so as to avoid some things and situations but because of our ignorance, we suffer consequences that we were not supposed to, were it we acted upon the word that we were given. King Nebuchadnezzar was warned by God in a dream (Daniel 4) and was told to amend his ways but he didn’t; later on, we see what Daniel had told him would happen happening. He was so proud of his accomplishments and rather than giving glory back to God, he ascribed the praise to himself saying that it was the labour of his hands that had accomplished and achieved whatever he had. The bible says, “Pride goes before a fall” – Proverbs 16:18 says “First pride, then the crash – the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” (Message bible) You will realize what Solomon says… the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. The bible in numerous places warns us against pride. In Proverbs 6:16-17a, the bible tells us “These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others] …” Pride is one of the things that the Lord hates.
Throughout Bible history, God has repeatedly provided man with more than “ample warning” of His impending judgments. His purpose for warning man is to motivate him to repent and come back to Him (Luke 15; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 8 & 9). For the most part, man has not taken advantage of God’s “ample warning” because of his evil and doubting heart (Genesis 6:5; Deuteronomy 1:35; Revelation 9:21). Lot’s wife was warned against looking back when they were leaving Sodom and Gomorrah, (Genesis 19:17) but she was too curious to know what was going on and when she looked back, she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26) Because of disobedience, we always suffer. How I pray that the Lord will deliver us from this. Again, God warns the people and tells them to repent of their sins during the time of Noah and the people assumed Noah and what he was preaching. Later one, when it started raining; they all dashed to ask Noah to open the door of the ark for them to enter but it was too late. Do you realize that as human beings we are last minute creatures? We start acting and doing what we should have done a long time ago when things start becoming thick on our side.
Again, the children of Israel murmured against God and He sent around snakes to bite them as a punishment. But God being a merciful God, he asked Moses to make a bronze serpent and put it up on a pole and tell the people that whoever is bitten by the snakes and looks at the bronze snake, he/she will live (Leviticus 21:4-9) but believe you me, many died because they refused to look at the snake on the pole. Simple instructions there but they failed to adhere to them. Jesus retaliated the same words in John 3:14-16 and said, that whoever believes in the son of man, he shall have life; many of the Jews didn’t believe in him. Today, you and I have the chance to believe and take action of whatever God tells us and be safe.
In Psalms 19:7-11, David writes and says “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” David had learnt that the only that he could keep himself away from any preceding danger or harm was to act as per the statutes of God’s word and from there he would be safe. Through the word of God, we get the guidance and leading of where to go and how we ought to walk. Again, David says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalms 119:105. The minute we allow God to lead us, we are sure of not suffering the consequences of what we can prevent by obeying.
Today, you and I can learn from the mistakes of the people who preceded us and act accordingly. We do not have to wait until the ‘cock crows’ so as to remember what we were warned against. You may not get a word from God as per say; or hearing him loud, but there are prevailing situations and circumstances that will always sound an alarm to you. Make sure that you are discerning so that you can be wise enough to act accordingly. May the Lord help us to heed to his call and above all, not to see/be self confident as Peter was and later on, we see him in pain, anguish and regrets.
25…”Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 29“… how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.” Matthew 12:25b, 29
I once remember reading a story book series Gulliver Travels by a ship captain called Gulliver. This man was a ship captain and in his story, he gives his different encounters and experiences he had in the different cities that he travelled. There is one incident that I do remember that he went into one town and beyond the residents of that particular town were small or dwarfs per say compared to him. He could get hold of one of the men in his hand. The men who were residents of the place were scared of this man and what they did was, they came together and they all attacked this “giant” of a man to them and made sure that he fell down. Once he was down, they used many ropes to tie him down on the ground such that he would not move, this way, they knew they had overpowered him. At this juncture, they would climb up on his body as they would want! I do remember as kids we would do the same too. Once we had one big boy who was molesting us or we were playing some sort of a game that he was overpowering us, what we would all gang up against him and make sure we subdued him.
You will realize that at one point or another in your life you have had someone or something that was bullying you as per say and you lack something to do. To an extent, you have many times given up and thought that you cannot overcome this issue. In my last devotion last week, (Do not Quit… hold on!), I did encourage you to hold on and not give up. You know, one of the things that Satan is good at is discouragement! He will make sure he has preached to you a failing gospel till you truly believe that you cannot make it in whatever you want to do. Do you remember the children of Israel in the book of 1 Samuel 17:8-11, 16? The bible tells us that for forty days, Goliath used to come in the morning in the battle valley of Elah in battle against the children of Israel. And to start with, because he was a giant, he would charge the children of Israel to bring forward a man who would fight him and whoever won, the other would become their subject or slaves but the children of Israel had no one to fight Goliath. And every morning, for forty days, Goliath used to mock the God of Israel.
I know that in your life and in my life there are things, issues, people etc; that we struggle overcoming them. Whenever you go to sleep, you make a silent prayer to the Lord and ask him to take away the situation, person or issue that you are struggling with. At times, we get to a point that we cannot put up anymore. Today, I encourage you; you can make it and get over that. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed;” Paul was giving a testimony of his life. He had gone through so much but yet he had a testimony that God was always with him and thus he wasn’t crushed. This is what we forget when we get to a point of giving up.
Jesus speaking to the Pharisees who were saying that he was casting out demons using the power of Beelzebub; he tells them that a divided house or kingdom will never stand. In other words, Jesus was saying that you cannot fight yourself from within and expect to stand from without. You need to make sure that your house is in order before you go out. Always remember that what you are outside is a depiction of who you are on the inside. You can cheat or cover up who you are but eventually, your actions will reveal who you are! Jesus continues and asks the Pharisees a question. How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house. You will need to realize that this is so evident and at work. When a robber comes to steal, they either use force or make sure that they subdue you or use chemicals that make you fall into deep sleep that you can’t recognize what is going on then they can steal.
This is the same tactic our enemy the devil uses. He will use small things and make sure he has captured and drawn your attention from the major things that you need to concentrate on and before you notice, he has subdued you. Jesus outlines very well the work the enemy comes to do in John 10:10. He said, “The enemy comes to kill, to steal and to destroy…” You need to know that the devil is not happy when you are at peace and fulfilling the purpose that God has called you to accomplish. Thus, what he does is that, he makes sure that he has brought disruptions or things that distract you and take you off course and before you realize, he has either stolen your vision, your passion, motivation and zeal to do what God has called you to and thus, you end up giving up on what you are supposed to do. This is why Peter warns us in 1 Peter 5:8 saying that we need to guard ourselves against the enemy who is roaming around looking for someone to devour. It is so bad that in the bible, we see examples of people who had a great calling and purpose in their lives but because of not being careful, they fell prey of the enemy and they were not able to accomplish what God had called them to. Do you want to be accounted as having fulfilled your purpose on earth or have it testified of you that you fell prey of the enemies trap.
In our lives, we have small things that entangle us and make us not run this race and finish it. We have some habbits, certain lifestyles, friends and many other things that we struggle with. You need to realize that these are the strong men in your life. As much as we pray hard, fast, be laid hands on etc, as long as we have not dealt with the small foxes in our lives which grow up to be strong men/issues in our lives, we will live mark timing there. Paul tells the Ephesians in Ephesians 4:27 that “… do not give the devil a footstool”. In Romans 8:13 and Colossians 3:5, Paul urges us to “Put to death” anything that deters us from becoming what God wants us to be. Solomon said in Songs of Solomon 2:15 “Catch the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” You need to know that your life is blossoming; sprouting up to bring forth fruits, but if you are not careful, it is the small things that we neglect that end up growing up, stabilizing and then become a thorn in our flesh.
Taking the example of Samson, he was a mighty man, anointed by God since his conception but he failed to tie the “strong man” in his life. He was so loose and he wasn’t careful of his life. He took the anointing and the grace of God upon his life for granted. He knew he was supposed to be a Nazarite but he entangled himself with people he wasn’t supposed to and took things that he was supposed to. You will realize that he was warned by his parents in Judges 14:3. He was advised not to get a wife among the Philistines but he couldn’t listen. At the end of the day, it is the same woman that he was in love with that brought him down and he lost his eyes in the process.
My dear friend, you need to know that this is a spiritual battle. When the bible talks of a ‘strong man’, it doesn’t refer to a physical strong man or a giant like goliath was; no! It refers to the things that we struggle with in our walk of faith. There are some of us who struggle with immorality, lies, anger, malice & slander name them; these are our strong men and if at all we need breakthrough in whatever you do; you need to make sure that you get hold of them and bring them to subjection. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 that “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” You need to know that as a believer you have power over everything. Every though, deed, action name it that exalts itself above the knowledge of God – you have the power to ring it down.
How can you tie the strong man in your life? The bible tells us that we are the one in control of our lives. Whatever we allow in our lives is what will be. There are a two things I realize that we need to do so as to tie the “strong men” in our lives:
a) You need to get fed up/tired of being where you are/doing what you are doing/being who you are. In other words, I mean, you need to advance. When David came to visit his brothers at the battle field and he heard Goliath defying the God of Israel and abusing the armies of Israel, he got annoyed. The bible says in 1 Samuel 17:26 “David asked the men standing near him; who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” and “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? The devil will always disgrace you. It is until you are tired of being at one place being disgraced always that you will take action. The four lepers who were outside the city of Samaria in 2 Kings 7:3-4; they asked themselves “Why stay here until we die? When you are tired, that’s when you will take action. Isaac when blessing his sons Jacob and Esau, he told Esau in Genesis 27:40b “And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, that you shall break his yoke from your neck.” How I pray that we will not await the time when we are tired to break the yoke the devil has upon our lives; it might be too late.
b) Exercise the power in you – Jesus gave us power. “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Luke 10:19. You have power and authority over everything and anything that comes against you. Paul reminds us this in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 and thus, we need to exercise this power in us. Do not be a coward, take the devil by his horns and always remember one thing that victory is assured. By the power of Christ who is in you, you can do all things!!
My dear brethren, let us not allow the devil to rule over our lives; instead, let us rule over him. Jesus won the battle for us more than two thousand years ago. Why then should we live as slaves whereas, God paid the expensive price for our freedom by giving Jesus to die on the cross for you and me. Let us walk tall, heads high knowing in whom we believe in and He has got power and authority over everything and we have the same power and authority as he has since we are co-heirs as well as sons and daughters in the kingdom. Remember “since the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12. It will not be easy to tie the strong man as per say, but if you take him and attack him by force, you will have victory!
1Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 3Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.” 1 kings 19:1-5
It is said that when we reach the end of ourselves, that’s when God comes in. many times we find ourselves in that point in life and basically, what comes into our minds first is quitting or giving up. I have been there, not once or twice, but severally and one thing that I can confidently say is that God is true to his word. He is faithful to accomplish his word that He promised. Have you or are you in that place that you want to give up? Are you pressed on every side by everything that you think that God is nowhere near you? Are you asking the question that Jesus asked on the cross? He said “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. I know we are tempted to say that many times, but we never ask because we know that we wouldn’t get an answer that we want or that favours us or never get one at all. This morning, I want to encourage you to hold on and do not give up. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 that “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.”
One thing you will realize that is so common to us is that, when we are at our highest point, that’s when the enemy strikes. When you are celebrating your victory, the enemy will attach you when you are unaware. During war times in the old days, someone would lay an ambush to his enemy when he least expected it. You will realize that most of these ambushes were set up when the other party was making merry and was not keeping watch. This is the same thing the devil does to us. He strikes when we least expect. This is the reason why Jesus told his disciples that they need to keep watch for they knew not, when the enemy would strike. When we are celebrating a victory and we are at our highest point, we need to realize that that’s the time that we are most vulnerable. You will realize that after we have prayed and waited on God and finally he answers our prayers, we start celebrating and thanking God. At this point, some of us forget to be on guard against the enemy.
This is the point that Elijah was in the scripture above. After he had finished defeating the 450 prophets of Baal and making it known in all Israel that Yahweh was God and none other; that’s the time the devil used Jezebel to scare Elijah and made him flee and more so, he reached a point where he thought he was all alone and thus he couldn’t make it. The best option that he saw was viable is to have God kill him as he was of no importance then. Discouragements, past experiences, hatred and jealousy from others name them; these are just but a few ways that the enemy uses to attack us and pull us down when we have just had an experience with God; after we have had our victory. The question that arises here is; will you allow the enemy to pull you down and make you feel down and dejected and lose your focus? Certainly not. The bible reminds us that our enemy the devil is roaming to and fro; up and down, not doing anything substantial at all but seeking whom to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Will you be part of his plunder?
When you look at the book of Job 1; the bible says that when the angels came to present themselves before God and Satan came along. The bible says “and the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Job 1:6. That is his prime work. When he is roaming about, he sees and notices where you are and each and everyday, he devices a new way to bring you down; thus Jesus said that we need to be on guard. May are the promises that God has given us; but the devil knowing that God is a faithful God to keep his word, he will always try to sway us away from his promises and make us doubt them. Discouragement is the greatest tool that the enemy uses to bring us down. You will find out that the devil will always try and find something to bring you down. And when you are discouraged, believe you me that the devil is celebrating on the other side because, at that point, you can’t even concentrate on God even a single minute. You are so vulnerable and he can hit you from any angle.
At times, it is so sad for many of us that we give up when we are almost near our breakthrough. We need to realize that it is always darkest before morning. When you are about to get to your breakthrough, that’s when the battle becomes fierce. The devil knew the impact that Elijah would have and thus he wanted to have him discouraged and give up before he could finish up the mission that God had called him for. You will realize that after this, Elisha met Elisha and Elisha was impacted by Elijah with a double portion of the anointing that he had. One thing you need to realize is that the devil knows your purpose here on earth and he knows that you are a threat to him and thus, to make sure that you do not live up to your calling, he will fight you all the time and make sure that you have no impact in your generation. Woe unto you if you give in.
God knowing what he has in store for you; the tasks ahead of you, he makes sure that He gives the provision for the same. The bible shows us this in 1 Kings 19:5b-8. The bible says “All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.” God did provide for Elijah ahead of the journey that he had ahead of him. You will notice that Elijah was tired and worn out; so he couldn’t make it for the journey that was ahead of him to go and meet with Elisha. You need also to know that when your task and mission is about to end here on earth, the Lord will always prepare someone to take over from you. In that case, the lord will bring or cause you to know him or her so that you can pass on the mantle. The devil is against this but he can never win.
When I read this scripture, I get two things that we need to watch in our lives whenever we are doing ministry or anything that appertains our calling and walk of faith. These are the things that made Elijah become vulnerable and run away from Jezebel and ask God to take away his life.
1) Fatigue/burn out – This is wearing out or becoming exhausted especially from overwork or over use. As much as we are doing Ministry, we need to realize that we are mortal men and we need to rest as well. Elijah had just finished the duel with the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. You will realize that earlier on, he had out ran Ahab to Samaria before the rains fell after a three and half years; and after that, he had no time to rest. You need to be careful and mindful as well. Do not overstretch yourself too much. To counter this, the Lord put him to sleep under a tree and made sure he had enough rest. He provided food for him as well (1 Kings 19:5b-8). This made sure that he recuperated from his burn out.
2) Fear – Elijah was afraid of the unknown. Jezebel had sent a messenger to threaten him. Not that she was there in person to effect it or say it to him, but it was just a message. Many times the devil instills fear in us by sending some information to us that disturbs us. This is the battle of the mind. We need to make sure that we win this. Fear simply means “False Evidence Appearing Real”. You need to note that it is not real; but is appearing like its real. We need to ask God for insight so as to differentiate true and false evidence and information as well. This happened to King Hezekiah in 2nd Chronicles 32 but rather than getting scared and afraid, Hezekiah went into the house of the Lord to seek his face.
There are many instances in the bible where we find people who were almost giving up but God strengthened them and gave them a new lease of life. Remember Haggar when she was running away from Sarah her mistress in (Genesis 16:7-11) and again when they were sent away in Genesis 21:15-19. All this shows us that when we have reached our end, God comes in to our rescue. All we need to know is that rather than giving up, we need to turn back to God who is the author and perfecter of or faith to carry us through.
Do not give up! Hold on! Let go and Let God!
18-20”As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn’t let him. Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did; how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.” Mark 5:18-20
“4 We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
The bible tells us that whenever Jesus went, He went doing good. I am glad that amongst the good things that He did was to save a wrench like me. I am forever grateful to him. You will realize that He was not biased to whom, where and when he did good. The bible tells us that He did good wherever he went. All the same, you will realize that not all miracles that Jesus did were the same. There are some that he laid his hand on them, others he just spoke a word, others were asked to do something but all in all, Jesus did them good.
In the above scripture, we see Jesus arriving at Gerasenes and there a demon possessed man approached him. The bible tells us that he lived among the tombs and he could not be subdued by anyone. The bible is so clear that people had tried to tie him with ropes and chains but he broke them off and he roamed about through the graves and the hillside making noise day and night and not just that that was enough; he used to slash and cut himself with stones. This meant that he shed immense blood. What does this tell us? It simply tells us that the man was bound by something that he could not understand or overpower by himself. You will bear witness with me that no one lives in the graves is a normal person. This is a place that is associated with the dwelling of the spirits of the dead according to our traditional beliefs and if you dwell there, then it is believed that the spirits come and dwell inside of you.
This is so evident because, when Jesus asked the man, what is your name? The man answered “My name is Legion,” he replied, “For we are many.” Mark 5:9. It means that many spirits or demons had inhabited him. The man was simply in bondage. It wasn’t that easy for the man to lose himself from the bondage. The bible says that when he saw Jesus, he ran down at his feet in worship and pleaded with him not to torment them. In other words, he realized that Jesus had the power to cast them out. In Mark 5:7, the bible tells us “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” we need to realize that even the demons realize and know the power that Jesus has and the power in his name. Jesus said in Luke 10:19 that “Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you…” This tells you and me that we have no cause to be alarmed when we encounter challenges from the enemy.
Afterwards, we see Jesus commanded the evil spirits out of the man and set him free. We need to realize that in our lives, we are vulnerable. From all angles and aspects of our lives, we are vulnerable. Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8 that “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We need to know that each and every day, the devil devices a new strategy to get us down and he is not going to give up at anything. That is why Peter warned the brethren and told them to be on their guard. We are waging spiritual warfare each and every day of our lives. Thanks to God that our weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4-5). Nevertheless, we need to be on guard as Peter exalts us and not giving chance to anything and not creating loopholes to give the devil a foothold.
One of the areas that gives the devil a foot hold in our lives that he capitalizes in is Dwelling in the past and being stagnant. This is because the devil keeps on reminding you of your past. Paul tells us in Romans 6:4 that since we have been raised with Christ, let us now live in the newness of the life that we have received. Earlier on in the same scripture, Paul was addressing the issue of people dwelling in sin so that the grace of God may abound – taking the grace of God for granted. Paul exhorts the brethren that once they have died to sin; they shouldn’t remain captives of sin anymore but go ahead and embrace the life that God gives through the forgiveness of sin. This is the same thing that Jesus did. You will realize that whenever he healed someone, he told them to go ahead and not go back to whatever they were doing earlier on. The same he did for the man who lived in the tombs. He told him… “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did; how he had mercy on you.”
I believe that if the man remained the same place where he was, the demons would have come back more than they were and possess the man again. But Jesus tells him to go back home and testify of the same. Another thing I realize is that we need not only to leave the place where we were delivered from and move on; we also need to testify of the same. The bible tells us that the man went and testified of what the Lord had done for him to ten towns. After the lord has done anything for you, how many people do you testify to? Do you even take time to thank God for the same? Remember the story of the ten lepers who were healed and only one came back to give thanks (Luke 17:11-18). The only leper who came back to give thanks to Jesus was completely cleansed. I believe the reason why we never get out of some issues and situations in our lives is because we do not give thanks. The bible tells us in Revelation 12:11 says that “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;”
I encourage you to be thankful and testify of what the Lord has done to you. The bible tells us that many were amazed by the man. Remember, many people knew him because he used to live in the tombs but here he is testifying of the goodness of the Lord. It doesn’t matter where you have been and how people know you; where they have met you; thought of you… name them; once Jesus changes you and you move ahead and cease to stay where you were; you embrace the new lease of life that He gives you, you will be the envy of many people and they will be amazed of what the Lord can do. Which or what is your tomb? What is holding you captive today? Can you allow Christ to set you free from the same and give you a new lease of life? Just surrender your life to Christ and allow him to take total control and you will have your freedom again for “… he who the son sets free is free, is free indeed” John 8:36.