The world we live in is one of hardship and pain. Sometimes that hardship and pain is caused by our own actions or choices. That isn’t always the case; often times, these struggles come into our lives because of the fallen world we live in. It is no fault of our own, bad things happen- even to good people. If folks were honest with one another we would realize that everyone is in one of three situations; headed into hardship, currently struggling through hardship, or coming out of hardship. Don’t let your guard down; there are unclean spirits and hardships lurking just around the corner. When we are smothered by the things we go through; is there any help? What does Jesus have to say to these situations in our lives? Possibly more that we realize.
In the book of Mark we see the authority that Jesus possessed and exercised over the unclean spirits of this world. Jesus never met an unclean spirit, broken person, or sinful condition that He did not have authority over. His is the final authority. Today, I want to take a look at what Jesus offers us in the way of help when we are possessed by an unclean spirit. First I need to clarify what I mean by an unclean spirit. The world is under the the influence, power, bondage, will, and grip of Satan and his minions. So it is in this sense that people now and the man we will look at in God’s Word today are possessed by unclean spirits. Under the influence of something other than Jesus and His perfect will for our lives.
In Mark 1:23 we see the plight of a man possessed by an unclean spirit. It’s interesting to me that this man was in the synagogue. If he attended regularly, it is safe to say that this particular synagogue was quite possibly spiritually dead. This man fell under no conviction, was not challenged by the things of God, and could sit comfortably under the preaching and teaching of scripture. Something was missing! This man had many voices speaking in his mind. Voices that said things like, just do what your heart leads you to. Take care of yourself first. Look out for number one. No one gives you anything, you have to take what you want. Voices that speak contrary to the voice of God. The two greatest commandments Jesus gave us are , Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, sand mind. And to love your neighbor as yourself. Any voice of the world that says something different than what Jesus said is an unclean spirit.
These unclean spirits are always harmful when we heed their direction. They are not concerned with our well being in the long run. They are only concerned with the here and now. But listen to me friend; we are eternal beings passing through this wilderness! Jesus is concerned with our here, now, and eternity. The voices of the world will never lead you to Jesus, they will lead you farther and farther away from the only truth in the universe! Jesus is that truth. He spoke of Himself as being the way, the truth and the way. So, believe me when I tell you; He is concerned with everything that affects you and I!
So what does Jesus say to these voices and unclean spirits? In verse 25 of Mark Ch. 1, Jesus says to the unclean spirit in the man, “Be quiet and come out of him!” Do you know what happened then? You guessed it, the spirit screamed in frustration and came out of the man! Do you know why? Because Jesus has authority over all things including the voices and unclean spirits of this world! They have to obey His command! They cannot ignore Him! They cannot argue with the God of the universe. Jesus possesses all power, all knowledge, and all authority.
Notice for a minute; Jesus didn’t speak to the man at this point. I’m encouraged by what Jesus did not say. He did not ask the man, “What have you gotten yourself into this time?”, “How could you let this happen?”, “How could you let this thing have control over you?”, “What were you thinking?”, “I’m so ashamed of you right now!”, “And you call yourself a Christian!”, “You’re no child of Mine!”. Jesus did not say anything condemning of the man with the unclean spirit. He could have. Frankly, some of us may have said some of these things to someone under the influence of an unclean spirit. But Jesus speaks to the unclean spirits to drive them out so that the person can be restored.
I want to leave you with this thought. We as Christians have the authority over the unclean spirits of this world. No, we are not Jesus and we have no authority of our own. Our authority comes when we speak God’s Word over the unclean spirits and give Jesus permission to invade our lives with truth and drive the unclean spirits away and silence the voices of an evil world. Our authority comes from Jesus. We must bathe our families, our marriages, our churches, and every person in our circle of influence in prayer. Specific prayer for Jesus to exercise His authority over their lives and silence the voices and expel the unclean spirits that want to destroy everyone and everything they encounter. Let that be your prayer today and live under the authority of Jesus!
Under His authority;