“And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him.”—Luke 9:39 (ESV)
The story of this boy in Luke 9:37-43 is personal to me, not that I have been attacked by evil spirits, but that I have been countlessly attacked by sin and whatever the evil spirit does to that boy, sin has done to me before.
Sin has seized, shaken, shattered and even more, it hardly left me. It has kept roaming around. I have felt powerless, broken and utterly defenceless. It seems to me that the only way Satan will have control is by beating us up! How weak of him!
What about you? When you give in to that addiction, or log into a website that promises what it cannot give, or hang around people you shouldn’t be around, or make a decision that doesn’t seem right, don’t you feel shattered? Shattered that you are at a point of no return? Do you feel like your flimsy bones are stuck until you bow down to the demands of your flesh? Do you feel weak in the knees?
If you identify with me, then this boy is our brother and his struggles are the same as ours. Sin is nothing to be proud of, for it takes whatever it wants by force. Satan doesn’t negotiate, and he surely doesn’t give any choices (for those of you who believe in your freedom to choose).
But thank God for Jesus. “While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.” (Luke 9:42, emphasis mine) Jesus healed the boy and gave him back to his father. You see, the evil spirit which had seized the boy had done something else: it had separated the boy from his father—it had stolen this boy from the only love he had.
Like with this boy, Jesus defeated our sin. In His life, death and resurrection, He put an end to the power of evil. At the right time, he snatched us from the claws of the beast and gave us back to our Father. Jesus saving work is also restorative; it restores our relationship with God. “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”” (Gal 4:6) “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”” (Rom 8:15)
That is your Lifeline, AMEN.