Luke 11:21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; Luke 11:22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Luke 11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Luke 11:24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ Luke 11:25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Luke 11:26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

Luke 11:21–26 ESV Read More

Context! Context! Context!

These statements from Jesus come after He has taught the disciples how to pray (remember God really wants to hear you and answer you) and He’s been casting out mute spirits and otherwise healing helpless people. The religious leaders — who have everything about God all figured out — say that Jesus is on the side of the demons Himself.

Jesus basically tells them that if He were on the side of the demons, those know-it-all religious leaders would be strong enough to conquer the devil and all of his minions. The evil spirits wouldn’t be able to stand up to the Pharisees. The Pharisees, after years of not being able to heal mute people or solve everyone’s spiritual problems, know this isn’t true. (Later, some Pharisees would get beat up and stripped by a demon-possessed man!)

So since Jesus isn’t on the side of the devil, He makes it plain. One strong man (the devil) has just been beaten up and thrown out of the house by a stronger man (Jesus.) Jesus is taking all that the devil has held for so long and destroying what is bad and freeing what is good.

Then Jesus implies a choice they have. You can either join in with the strongest of the strong men, or don’t. If you don’t, the man formerly known as a strong man is going to come back later with a bunch of his friends. When he comes back, your life will be worse than ever.

That’s the case when someone really and truly experiences the life of Christ. We each have a chance, at the moment of revelation and enlightenment, to choose to dive in and follow Jesus more than ever. If we choose another path, it doesn’t mean that Jesus abandons us, but we often make life unnecessarily difficult when we make choices that take us away from Christ’s leadership. The Lord is continuously after us and pursuing us to turn His way, but He also grants us the freedom to choose worse and worse fates as we walk away from Him.

We make hundreds of decisions a day. It might be ham or salami, embezzlement or honesty, gossip or silence, but with every choice, Christ stands by to guide us in His joy.

Gather up with Jesus every chance you have. Join in with His train of thought every moment you are able, and you’ll see His power fill your life in simple and glorious ways.

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