December 07, 2023 – Thursday
Luke 11:23 NKJV
24 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’
Today is really about the above verse and the following two verses, 24 & 25. But first I wanted to address this verse alone and let you know the same story is found in Matthew 12:45-47. The first thing I want to share is that 1 Peter 5:8 should be a companion verse for these three verses, and it reads as follows, 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Why would I want to include 1 Peter 5:8? Looking our verse, we see that somehow a man who had an unclean spirit got it to leave. Of course, an unclean spirit is an evil spirit and one of Satan’s minions. A lot of people seem to be able to do this, men and women alike. At least for some short period of time. But if we read the entire verse we have, 24 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ Jesus is telling us that such a demon removed by a person’s own effort will return one way or another to the body it had already inhabited at one time.
Jesus didn’t end there. He went on to say, 25 And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.26 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” What does the demon find upon return? A person who has cleaned up his or her act and no longer drinks or uses drugs, in other words, the demon finds the person swept and put in order. The demon delights in what it perceives as easy pickings and 26 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
Sometimes, from what I have observed in my life, is that an individual often appears to have really defeated the original demon. They may continue to be sober, but other things change. They may become increasingly arrogant or selfish or mean or money hungry or any number of other negative life actions. If you ever get a chance to listen to Pacific Mission’s radio show Unshackled do so. It has stories of individuals who have demons that have destroyed their lives and those of their loved one, through alcohol or drugs or sexual sin. These individuals are helped back on their feet, their house is cleaned up so to speak, and then they fall again, and again. But their stories get much better when they not only get cleaned up, but turn to God, to Jesus. Then they stay cleaned up, living a new life in the saving grace of Jesus’ salvation.
That is the point of Jesus’ story. You cannot succeed alone; you need Him and only then can you truly live a new life. That’s why so many people down and out end up in church. It is their last resort, the only one that truly works.
Bottom Line: Listen to the warning in 1 Peter 5:8 and do not try to clean up your act on your own. Jesus is waiting for you to turn to Him. If you know people in trouble do your best to kindly lead them to Jesus’ saving grace. And you and they may listen to incredible stories on Unshackled online here.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, It is wonderful that Jesus warns us against trying to succeed on our own without Your help and His help. Thank You that Jesus is always ready and waiting to help those who will turn to Him. Help us to remember we were once no better off than any of them. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God