“Real Christianity, when authentically practiced and lived, frees us from our demons! Do you know it.”FOC
We see this clearly in Christ’s command to his disciples: “Go and preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons.
When we’re mentioned about demons, we’re not mentioning that so called devil dressed in a red suit with a pitch fork and horns. Not that one! “The devil, the father of lies, disguises himself in subtle, deceptive, and devious ways. His demons enter and dwell within us in the form of our pride, vanity, lust, greed, gluttony, anger, rage, impatience, hatred, and other such vices. His demons have a feast within us through our daily habits, certain obsessions, and other manners of addictive behavior.” The Bible describes the devil as a “lion ready to devour us,”
Demons are extremely real and dwell within each and everyone of us! You probably know by now that the very first thing we do in the Sacrament of Baptism, which is our introduction or entrance into the Christian faith, is to renounce Satan and all his works and all his worship and all his angels and all his pride? In other words, we begin our Christian walk by acknowledging the reality of the devil and his demons, and then declaring an all out war upon them by renouncing them. We totally and absolutely reject Satan’s demonic side of life!
Thank God that the influence and force of evil no longer need to hold sway over those of us who follow Christ. Even Satan’s greatest fruit, death itself, no longer has authority or the last say in a Christian’s life on earth.The Orthodox Christian faith teaches very specifically that the devil, his demons, and this force of evil constantly try to attack, overwhelm and eventually control our lives. In fact, the Good News which our Lord Jesus Christ proclaims is that He is greater than the forces of evil, and that He is pushing back the Kingdom of Satan in this world.
Our society seems obsessed with this darker side of life. Look at all those horror films made in Hollywood by those producers, reflecting a society enamored with the dark side of life. Daily I see people in New York wearing clothing with the skull and bones, with the grim reaper, or with demonic emblems. And in the daily newspapers like daily news or New York Times, we can see most clearly the evil side of society by simply reading about horrific crimes, ongoing wars, and seemingly normal people who snap and allow their demonic rage to overwhelm them in moments of passion.
Jesus came to liberate us from whatever evil controls us – whether our anger or rage, our pride or greed, our lust or gluttony or impurity, our hard heart or unforgiving spirit, our impatience or irritations, our depression or despair, our habits and obsessions – whatever demons with which we struggle, Jesus came to set us free!
We can visually see this power to liberate those enslaved in today’s Gospel story. Jesus confronts two extremely fierce, demon-possessed men. These men had long ago forgotten their true identity, living among the tombs, with no clothes, lost their self dignity, and with no hope to for those demons to be cast out, which enslaved them in extreme darkness and despair. Those men could only image themselves being with those countless forces of darkness for the rest of their lives holding them in bondage.They’ve listened to the deception of Satan and forgot the most basic principle of human life – that they were the children of the most high God called Jehovah, who created them in the image of the Holy GOD, and formed them uniquely in a special way. These men have forgotten the words of God and given into the deception of Satan and his demons. “EvenIf a family can forget their own,God will never for his child, who he created in his image and likeness, and breathe his breathe into them.We are always in the care of God amazing grace.Regardless where life made throw us.God is always there to accept us.” Sdwjr #FOC
No demons, whether in the form of evil vices, bad habits or distorted obsessions or addictions, can ever change the essence of who we are – beloved children created in God’s image! And when we recall who we are, and who our heavenly Father watching over us is, we can than unleash the power needed to reclaim our original identity and to defeat the demonic powers wrestling for our souls.
Our Lord Jesus Christ came to cast out these demons from our lives! Our Lord longs to fill His followers with an abundance of His Holy Spirit’s fruit – with authentic and divine love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. He desires to dwell richly in each one of us, and to help us become more Christ-like with each passing day.
When our Lord Jesus truly abides richly in us, we discover a Power greater than any demon or vice, habit or obsession or addiction that may seem so overwhelming. Christ, the Almighty One, is ready to cast out whatever demons assail us. And even those ingrained demonic forces which have controlled us for years, or even all our lives, these demons also our Lord can cast out!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In Christ, “I have overcome the world.” “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is, who was, who is to come, the Almighty.” Our Lord is Lord of all creation, and Lord of our lives. Nothing – no demon, or demonic influence, or legion of demons can stand in His way.
Remember one of the most encouraging words from the book of Paul to his follower Timothy. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Each one of us can access this power of God within our own lives and begin a process of healing and renewal! Demons in whatever form no longer need to control our lives! “Whoever is set free is free indeed.”