Wrestling with Your Demons
Mighty Lord. I marvel at Your infinite power and greatness. You are such a wonderful God and Father to me.
Read Luke 8:26-39
 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee.  When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs.  When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!”  For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.  Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him.  And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.  A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission.  When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.  When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside,  and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.  Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured.  Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.  The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying,  “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did the onlookers and the healed man react?
The team is in a new place today (26), walking in Gentile territory which was unfamiliar to the disciples. The man they met was mentally ill (27), which had caused physical and mental isolation from his community (29). But Jesus has absolutely no “off limits” areas and encounters the man. He was demon-possessed; maybe he also had bipolar disorder; but he and Jesus had a spiritual encounter which was to totally transform his life (35).
Think about this encounter from different perspectives. Imagine being the man. What about the pigs? Or the farmer? The disciples? The crowd?
The man asks more of Jesus (38). But he’s received what he needs and it’s time to do something with it. What about us? Is it time to do something with what Jesus has done for us?
Let us pray for those in situations of mental illness or depression and those wrestling with their inner demons. Let us pray for them, their colleagues and families, neighbors and especially those who have no one to pray for them.
Pray for someone you know suffering from a mental illness or depression and pray for their family.
Lord, give me compassion for those suffering from these terrible illnesses and help me to remember to pray for them.
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