“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” – Luke 11:24-26
Whenever I hear this verse I instinctively think of the Musinex commercials. That gross family of nastiness setting up their home in your lungs. It’s so gross that I actually can’t stand the thought of taking that medicine. But this picture is so similar to what the scripture is talking about. That gross family sets up shop in my lungs and it affects my whole life. I’m sick for days until I can get it out. Even though the sickness is in my lungs, the rest of my body is subject to this sickness. Sometimes it takes me staying at home to take care of myself other times I have to take medicine, making war on the sickness to force it out. In the same way this one evil spirit comes into one part of your life (usually your weak spot) and takes up residence there, invoking mass pandemonium on every other part of your life. You know it’s there, and you know you need to get rid of it, so you take some time to yourself, draw up boundaries where they need to be drawn and press into the Lord to become whole again, making war on this spirit (Eph. 6:12). And then, before you know it, your hard work pays off. What once controlled your life and behavior, is gone. You’re finally well. That day you were sick as a dog and thought this time would never come, is here! Now what? “Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.” Not awesome. We’ve all heard the wisdom crying out to us saying, “When you clean it out, you have to fill it with something or that spirit is coming back with his friends.” We sure as heck don’t need that, but what do we fill it with?
I’ve been convicted recently on this whole subject-matter. We all have junk, stuff that needs to be cleaned up. Some spirits seem to be bigger than others and some will take more time to work through. But when you get to a place when you’ve done the work and the lines have been drawn, you’ve got to fill that time and space with something. In an effort to avoid conviction (not something I suggest, but it happens), I’ve done quite a nice job at throwing myself head-long into time-consuming things. Things that some might even consider noble and responsible, like getting my finances together. While yes, this is incredibly important and I’m learning so much, it’s still a distraction from making sure I fill this empty space with something that will last.
I need a picture here…It’s like I’ve now got this pretty home that’s nice, shiny, clean and empty, and I bring in a nice TV that compliments the wall so well. It keeps my attention well enough, I get news from it, so it’s not really bad, it’s actually really helpful to my life as a whole. But there’s still so much room in this home that’s not being occupied. If that spirit came over with all of his friends at this point, I am still weak. I have no power to fight that one spirit AND all his friends! That TV isn’t going to keep my attention anymore, I might as well roll out a red carpet for these guys to come on back in! I need furniture, pictures, food and all that stuff that makes it a home so that I can have people over. If the house is full of life-giving people and I’m in a place where I can be a blessing to others then chances are, I’m not nearly as tempted to have that nasty family move back in. Not only am I not tempted, but I have tools and weapons to fight those temptations off! I need to be well all over so that I can be a blessing to others instead of just occupying my time with something that is just a good thing to do. I need the Word. I need Jesus. Am I still susceptible to that sin that I had to root out? Sure I am! But now that I know it’s a weakness it’s my job to work with the Lord and get it out and do the work to make sure it stays out!
So this is for me (and maybe you – just goin’ out on a limb): Do the work. Stick it out and get into the Word.Is it gonna be hard? Heck to the yeah! Will you be broken beyond what you think you can bear? Most likely – yeah. But allow the conviction to come, cause what’s the worst that could happen? You lose your life to save it. -Matt 16:25
I know, easier said than done.