Overpowering the Strong Man
Scripture Reading — Matthew 12:22-29
How can anyone ... carry off [a strong man's] possessions unless he first ties up the strong man?" Matt. 12:29 —
Many of our troubles involve sin. But there is more behind these sins than a simple choice to do wrong. We face a deadly illness, an overwhelming bondage, a spiritual force much stronger than we are. Spiritual sickness and slavery are Satan's specialties. He often uses methods much more subtle than outright demon possession. Every day, people find that in their own strength they cannot escape alcoholism or fits of rage or sexual misbehavior. Human effort cannot overcome the dreaded power of Satan. Every attempt to change will only be frustrated until someone binds the power of Satan that's destroying us.
We need a power greater than ourselves--and greater than Satan--to free us and heal us. So we must admit our helplessness and entrust our lives to Jesus. Christ can overpower Satan, bind him, and set us free from every kind of sickness and slavery. Most bondage is not a case of actual possession by a demon, so deliverance does not always involve a dramatic exorcism. But the liberation is real.
In surrender to Christ, we find that destructive behavior is no longer dominating our lives. Each day our freedom grows and flourishes as we depend on God's power and we grow in fellowship with other people Jesus has liberated. Satan's reign of terror is over.
Lord Jesus, without you we are at Satan's mercy--and he has no mercy. Destroy the devil's power; free us from slavery, and heal our sickness through your Holy Spirit. Amen.