Breaking Patterns of Harrassment
Breaking Patterns of Harrassment
Words of Faith 6-11-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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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 evil 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 him 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 them, 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.
Jesus had clearly established his authority in this region. By his presence, the demons were shuddering. Jesus asked one question: What is your name?
The demons started begging again. They knew. They knew they were losers in this battle. They had even massed their troops. "We are legion" means between three and six thousand!
The very presence of Jesus demanded surrender. The legion begged for mercy. The ultimate fate of the demonic forces was destruction but it was not yet time for that destruction. Don't be mistaken here. Jesus did not show any compassion to the legion of demons. It simply did not suit the time table of God to cast them away for eternity at this time. So they were cast into a herd of pigs to rush down a steep hill and drown.
Of course, the pig farmers were quite upset. They had a financial loss. As people arrived to see what had happened, the change in the man was undeniable. Here was a man that had terrorized this area for years, scaring people, running around naked, beat up, dirty and bleeding, breaking chains and restraints. Here was the same man dressed and in his right mind! Sitting at the feet of Jesus! Soaking the Word of God from the Word Himself!
So what was the response of those who saw this incredible moment? A revival? A Building plan? A tabernacle? Nothing like that. "We'd like you to leave," they said. Leave? On the other shore they wanted to set up a ministry center when something much simpler happened! But here where they have been under the dominion of the enemy for so long they preferred it! Perhaps they saw that there is a certain cost to being part of God's Kingdom. It may cost you some pigs. Perhaps they were just more afraid of the loser than the winner? Or more afraid of the defeated than the victor?
So Jesus left. Why? Because they asked him to leave? Don't bet on it. Clearly He had done what He came to do. Jesus would not leave just because someone said to do so. Jesus may have come to that side of the lake simply in answer to the prayer for that man because He heard some deep cry of His tortured soul. His presence had brought hope and Jesus left one man to give testimony.
Many times Jesus had healed and said, “Don't tell.” This time, Jesus said to tell. Tell about what it is like to be held captive by evil and hear the voice of the Lord Jesus set you free. Tell about what it is like to suddenly hear the voices of your tormentors begging for mercy. And hear Jesus say, Get into the pigs!
So what are we supposed to do with a story like this today? We are scientific people living in a modern age. Are we to believe in demons and unclean spirits? True there have been superstitious times in religious history when simple disease was attributed to demons and blood was drained to get rid of them as people got worse. We are glad we do not live in those times. But we would be foolish to think that there is no such thing as demonic oppression. We would also be foolish to believe that a demon has any authority in our lives if we are in Christ and Jesus has set foot on the shore of our souls.
Jesus desires to do the very same thing today that He did nearly 2000 years ago. Jesus has charted a course across the lake for us on a rescue mission. Jesus has heard the cry of His children on the other side of the lake in this area of the Gerasene. Frankly He is sick and tired of the harassment. The Lord Jesus Christ is fed up with His children being harassed. He has come across the lake and set His foot upon this shore.
You might say but I haven't seen anyone who is naked and bruised and living among the dead without a home? Perhaps you haven't been looking. For starters there are places in nearly every city and lurking on the Internet where people have no clothing, live among the dead, have scars and bruises and no where to go? That is demonic in any century.
If you look around with the eyes of the spirit you may see many people who are unclothed, unprotected, shackled and bruised with no shelter. There are many who have no spiritual covering and they walk among the dead. There are many who have been taken over by pagan culture. Many are even well dressed, polite and well thought of, but in the spirit they are battered and bruised, unclothed and unsheltered, and walking among the dead, a child of God abandoned to the region of the Gerasenes.
There are many who are well dressed and polite but they struggle with a spirit of anger or lust, jealousy or gluttony, death or suicide, greed or spending, rebellion or control or depression. But the Good News is that Jesus has come to this world to set foot on this shore on this side of the sea. As soon as Jesus sets His foot into a place the unclean spirits start begging. We have nothing to fear and the unclean spirits have everything to fear.
Lord God, reveal in me the things that are unclean. Reveal the things that are not of You. Show me the things need surrender.