Yesterday our Pastor spoke about dealing with those things in our lives that hinder us or lead us down the wrong pathway. His sermon was based on Mark 5:1-20, the story of Jesus healing the man from Gerasenes. This man had been demon possessed. The Bible says there were many demons, and their name was “Legion.” The demons instantly recognized Jesus and begged Him not to send them to the place reserved for them, Hell. The Bible says that the demons asked to be sent into a herd of pigs that was nearby, and then it says, “So Jesus gave them permission.”
That struck me in that the demons couldn’t just leave and go into the pigs, Jesus had to give them permission to go. I never thought of that before. The Devil can’t do anything unless God gives him permission. Wow! How amazing is that? We don’t have to be defeated, we don’t have to be beaten down, God is on our side, and Satan can’t do anything to us without God’s say so.
Even though this was not the main focus of Pastor’s sermon, when he said that, the whole rest of the time I focused on that fact that I don’t have to succumb to the whiles of the enemy either, and anything that comes my way, can only come because God allows it for His purposes. Those things can make us stronger as we lean closer to Him, or they can leave us defeated as we try to deal with things on our own.
Pastor said that no matter what storm we are going through, we must keep going forward! We must remember WHOSE we are in the Kingdom! We belong to God, and we can rest in the fact that God has our back. Anything that comes our way is for our good and for His glory! When we get bogged down in the things that cause us to fall, we don’t move forward, we are either at a stand still or we fall backward. As I think about this, I am reminded of what Pastor spoke on last week …. running the race. I remembered that he said that runners don’t look back, they keep their eyes focused on the goal. So, in order for us to move forward, we need to stay connected with God, trust Him to help us defeat those things that hinder us, and endeavor to “lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us.” (Hebrews 12:1 KJV)
When we think about it, Jesus will go to great lengths to reach one person for Himself. He has great patience with us, continuing to draw us time after time, until we answer His call to ask Him to be our Lord and Savior, or we completely turn our backs on Him. He is great in patience, but there will come a time when He says, “That’s it, no more.” The Bible calls that giving people over to their “reprobate minds.” (Romans 1:28)
I am encouraged to know that nothing that happens to me comes to me on its own, but God has allowed it, and even in some cases ordained it, so that He can get the glory for the victory, and I can become stronger in my relationship with Him.
My dear reader, be encouraged! Those hard struggles you are experiencing are placed in your life by God’s permission. It’s up to you how you deal with them. You can draw closer to Jesus for strength and deliverance, or you can live in defeat, either by trying to fix it on your own, or by giving up completely. I urge you to rely on Jesus Christ to help you overcome your battles.