June 19, 2015
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
57. We are moving into a series of stories that I would label as “impossible situations.” Today we see a man possessed by a demonic presence. The demons had literally driven him insane. They drove him into an exilic place of death: a grave yard. How much further from life and light could a person go? This was a person who had been written off, discarded and left completely alone. Not only could he not be helped, he could not be restrained. He was completely disconnected from people and was totally at odds with himself, cutting himself with stones. We are looking at an extreme case; an impossible situation. How will Jesus respond to him?
58. Here’s what I find most interesting about this part of the story. The demonic spirits drove this man to the most isolated place on earth. This is the gravity of darkness and death. With the entrance of the presence of God, the gravity of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed the gravity of the evil spirits and literally pulled this man to the very feet of Jesus. No one could restrain this man yet the Spirit of God seemed to move him almost effortlessly to the feet of Jesus.
59. The Holy Spirit through the person of Jesus, and now through the Body of Christ, walks right into the midst of the darkest places, into the most impossible situations and hopeless causes and sets captives free. The Holy Spirit, who is in you, is infinitely more powerful than the evil spirits who are in the world. The Holy Spirit never gives up on people, no matter what. When the Holy Spirit has full reign in us, he makes us the kind of people who never give up on people, no matter what.
The question we must answer is, “Do we want to become the kind of people who never give up on people, who will believe beyond belief in the possibilities of God for anyone and everyone?” These are the kind of people the Holy Spirit searches to find. To become one of these kind of persons requires a willful decision on our part. It will mean being transformed into the shape of the Love of God. We aren’t responsible to solve the problem. We are responsible to show up, to be present to Jesus in the presence of people facing impossible situations and to be ever saying, sometimes aloud and other times under our breath, Come Holy Spirit!
So here’s a challenge for us today. Ask the Spirit to bring to mind impossible situations with whom we are in touch. Write those down. I want us to explore how the practice of fasting can impact these situations soon.
SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD, FALL AFRESH ON ME.
P.S. Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge. It’s 40 days, one day per week at a time, over the next 52 weeks. It’s a food only fast. Begins after supper on one day and ends at 4pm the next- 2 meals. Liquids fine. Fasting goes better together. I’ll send you a short weekly encouragement email if you register.– sign up here.
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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.