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« Be Like Jesus | Main | Mind Games »

Meet Your Stranger

“And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.” Mark 5:9

Jesus asked this question of the demoniac of the Gadarenes, “What is your name?” Although, the devil tempted and confronted Jesus, He expressed no fear of Satan.  He treated him like a defeated enemy.  Do not fear the devil but you must examine other forces that war against you. 

The Unknown Disease.  All are subject to this stranger.  Many have gone through extensive testing to diagnose a disease or a condition that was life threatening.  There may be many of us who will face this in the future. I have something to say about this stranger, however.  First, God can heal any kind of disease.  “By His stripes, we are healed.”  Call for the elders of the church to anoint you with oil and pray for you.  If God chooses not to heal or deliver you, before you get a disease that will take you down, you need to get the power that will take you up!  

The Uncontrollable Urge.  There exists in many people a tendency to act impulsively, irrationally, and without the ability to restrain their actions.  Our prisons are populated with inmates who did not act with premeditation.  Achan was a man like this.  He couldn’t keep his urges under control and it led to his demise.  Your mind may be telling you that you are in control of your urges, but you may find out too late that you were actually under the control of a stranger.  The man in the tombs could not be tamed even by the authorities or by chains or ropes.  

The Unconquered Passion.  Like the uncontrollable urge, unconquered passions can lead to destruction as well.  The difference is that passion doesn’t seem like a stranger.  People identify with their passions more than their urges.  “I’m just being me,” they say.  The action seems like something they really want to do, despite the dangers and the sin that it involves.  If your passion is leading you into sinful, perverted or destructive behavior, you had better identify it as an unconquered passion, not as an authentic characteristic. Samson failed to conquer his passion and he forfeited his power.  He surrendered it to the devil from the lap of Delilah.  When his eyes were burnt out by the hot irons thrust into the eye sockets and he was helplessly chained to the grinding mill, he realized that he should have controlled his passions. 

The Unrepented Sin.  Unrepented sin is under your control.  When you fail to repent, or you rationalize your sin away, you set yourself up for a terrible penalty. Ahab was a wicked king who stole the vineyard of Naboth.  When Ahab was out enjoying the stolen grapes, he had an untimely visit by the prophet, Elijah. “And Ahab said to Elijah, ‘Have you found me, O my enemy?’ And he answered, ‘I have found you: because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD.’” Ahab thought he had gotten away with his crime.  Twenty years later, however, an arrow shot at random by an enemy archer flew through the air.  In mid-flight, God reached down and wrote Ahab’s name on it. Eventually, unrepented sin will catch up with you. 

The Unsound Mind. The last stranger is the most fearful of all.  People boast, “I would never do anything like that.” If you are not in full control of your faculties, you never really know what you’ll do!  When you are out from beneath the umbrella of God’s protection and governance, you expose yourself to horrific powers. There is only one solution: the power of God!  “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” 2 Timothy 1:7. 

Never think you can confront these strangers by yourself.  Put your life in the hands of Jesus! He has power over the strangers!

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