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Read |Luke 8: 26 - 39|
The start of a New Year is often characterized by an atmosphere thick in anticipation. Anticipation of change--a change for the better--a change to be better. And this year, was no different. The clock struck midnight. 2019 arrived, and my head was filled with remembrances of all the promises God had made. All the Word He had poured into me, spoken over me and confirmed to me. I was in thankful awe at the miracle of holding onto a Word uttered by the Creator of the universe. But on the periphery of my amazement and gratitude were doubts. Would this year be the year?
Would this be the year for breaking the old man's habits, for taking hold of a deeper measure of abundance in Jesus Christ? Would this be the year for breakthrough, for miraculous reconciliations? Would this be the year the in which reward would first weariness? The longer I pondered the timing, the more ground I conceded to the doubts in my heart. And then my defense against discouragement: "God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23: 19, CSB). I had to speak it aloud to drive the doubt away. I had to hear it. I had to hear it that my faith might increase. I had to hear it to return to joyful expectation. (Romans 10: 17). God would do exactly what He said because He is good, truthful, faithful and almighty. And in reminding myself of that truth, other truths became apparent. Chief among them that God's Word itself is powerful, as it only took a Word to quiet my heart.
In this week's reading we find the authoritative nature of Jesus' Word on display, as He encounters the famed demoniac of the Gerasenes. This man had been under siege by approximately 2000 demons. So profound was his oppression, that he did not even speak on his own behalf. (Luke 8: 30). His inner poverty had become manifest in his outer living, such that he is described as being unclothed, homeless, living amongst the dead and isolated. (Luke 8: 27). He was in a most desperate state. Yet, when Jesus appears things change. In fact, before Jesus hits the shore, His Word hits the ears of the unclean spirits possessing the man. It is this Word, that draws them to Jesus to plea for permission to occupy the herd of pigs: "'What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torment me!' For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.'"(Luke 8: 28 - 29, CSB). We learn that that which had reduced a man to living unclothed, amongst the dead and cut off from his fearful community, was subject to Jesus. At His Word they had to flea. (Luke 8: 31 - 33). After, we find him clothed, in his right mind and at the feet of Jesus. (Luke 8: 35).
This account holds so much encouragement for us as believers, as it puts on display the wonderful truth of our God who is powerful beyond measure, such that there is none that supersedes Him. Beloved, no matter what oppresses you, it is still subject to Jesus and it knows it. Do you know it? Do you see Him rightly? Do you see Him in all His splendor and power? Do you see Him, who fights for you with just a Word? Do you see yourself rightly? Do you see that you are His beloved, adopted and sealed with His Holy Spirit? (Galatians 4: 4 - 5 & Ephesians 1: 13). Do you see that you are His--co-heir with Jesus Christ and entrusted with the authority to trample under foot the foul things of the air? (Romans 8: 17 & Luke 10: 19). Do you see that you are His chosen, proclaimed victorious? (1 John 5: 5).
Beloved, if you are His daughter, a Word has already been spoken and it is final in its perfection and effective in its action. Jesus Himself, the Word made flesh, said it all on calvary and secured for you the expectation that by His stripes you would be healed--made whole. He is the Word that cannot return void. (Isaiah 53: 5 & 55: 11 & 1 Peter 2:24). So as you inhale this New Year air, be encouraged.
Celebrate in Worship:
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.