In attempting to distract my sister from a broken heart we went to see a scary movie. Why do I always think this is a good idea? We went and saw “The Conjuring” which definitely lived up to its name. I wont spoil it for anyone who may be brave enough to go see it, but essentially the movie documents a family trying to rid their house of an evil presence.
As a person of faith, I should know better than to watch these movies because I know that it’s not just wildly imagined content used to make Hollywood films. Call me cray cray, but I believe in the reality of God and Satan. Angels and demons. Though, it seems in modern 2013 we are much more skeptical of the mystical and supernatural and even ancient aspect of our faith. Most of us us don’t usually experience these kinds of dramatic events and what we do hear about can be more comfortably explained away by mental illness or faulty construction of a house. Some people discount these things completely.
Who really knows!?
That being said, it really made me sober minded about the spiritual atmosphere of my life. I definitely went to bed that night with the name of Jesus on my lips. Feeling dumb, but also relived and comforted. I have been thinking a lot about the topic since seeing the movie last weekend. Why, only when I’m scared or heartbroken am I vigilant in praying? Though I’ve certainly never dealt with any REAL demonic presence in my life, I certainly have my demons. Why do I so easily give in to them?
I listened to a teaching this morning by Nadia Boltz Weber who is an unconventional pastor I’ve recently enjoyed listening to. Her teaching struck a chord this morning,
“I think our demons totally recognize Jesus right out of the boat and our demons are afraid of him. Which is why they try to get us to stay away from people who may remind us how loved we are. Our demons want nothing to do with the love of God in Christ Jesus and so they try to isolate us and tell us that we are not worthy to be called children of God. And these lies are simply things that Jesus does not abide.
Maybe the demon of anger knows to steer clear of the Gospel, lest you end up forgiving some jack ass who you really want to punch in the throat. Maybe your demon of inertia knows to avoid of Jesus lest it be cast off a cliff and you have to start showing up in life. Maybe your demon of compulsive eating knows to not listen to Jesus lest it find itself in a lake and you clothed and fully in your body and sitting at Jesus feet. Maybe your demon of always always always having to prove yourself fears Jesus since if you listen to Jesus and not that demon you may start really believing that you are already good enough and then you’ll have to stop over-functioning.”
(Listen to the full teaching here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2013/06/demon-possession-and-why-i-named-my-depression-francis/)
Calm and clothed and fully in my body at Jesus’ feet? Sounds heavenly.
I went and read the account of Jesus casting the demons into the pigs in the book of Matthew 8:28-33. The pigs went wild and ran themselves off the side of a cliff and drowned in the waters below. The man was not calm when he came upon Jesus, but suffering through a violent and hopeless situation. He was shunned from everyone and filthy and unrecognizable. Everyone had given up on him.
Yet somehow HE found his way to Jesus and was healed?
Well, I guess I can to.