Living in the Tombs

In Mark 5, we are told a story about a man living among the tombs, with an unclean spirit (Mark 5:2). He was a danger to himself and others, no one could bind him (Mark 5:3). No one was able to subdue him or bring him under control (Mark 5:4). He was day and night in the tombs, constantly crying out and gashing himself Mark 5:5). This guy was in a mess. No one cared about him; just chain him up somewhere out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind.

When you really think about it, we are not much different. We are all bound by something that’s killing us. We drink too much, smoke too much, eat too much, play to much, are entertained too much… name your vice. Men today have all the toys they can afford (and lot of stuff they can’t afford) and often play games with their lives and families. I’m convinced that countless men today are living in the “tombs” and need to be set free. I’m talking about living in an inner world that leads to death; the world that is just behind the mask that we put on.

You can kill a person with your words, your attitude, and even your absence. You can kill a relationship without any other weapon than your mouth. You can destroy it without exploding a bomb; you can destroy relationships by neglect.

If we are a people living among the tombs, then we are surrounded by death, and much of it is death that we have inflicted upon ourselves (Mark 5:5). We have made poor choices and have not invested our time into our families. We have pulled back from our wives and sought for intimacy online. We have gotten into the habit of gambling, or drinking, or pornography, or spending… thinking these are what real life is all about.

How many women are in counseling offices every week because of what husbands have said or something they did; broken promises, betrayed trust, devastated dreams, broken lives?

  1. How many men do you know who are out of control?
  2. How many chains have you broken (Mark 5:4)?
  3. How many people are bleeding from wounds that you inflicted?
  4. How many of your children are going to need serious pastoral counseling?
  5. How many people are suicidal or messed up in their minds because of the lies you told?
  6. How much death and destruction have you caused in your own life?
  7. What tombs are you living in?
  8. What steps can you take to make things right?
  9. Commitments with which are you finally going to follow through?

The only way to combat death is to bring something back to life; resurrection. Just as it happened with Jesus, it can happen with every area in your life. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In Christ we can have the life Jesus promised (John 10:10). Trust Him to bring you back under control and restore your life, your family, your kids, your marriage.

[print_link] [email_link]

Who is in Control?

Part of the Lord’s Prayer mentions, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13).

It’s amazing to think about the fact that every act of your life is motivated by a spiritual force. So, the question for today is, “Who is controlling you?” Or we might ask, “What is motivating you?”

I am a lover of cake! Old classic cake flavors are “Devil’s Food” and “Angel’s Food.” So, aside from the dessert, which sort of food are you feeding your body? What spirit is being satisfied through your soul?

If the spirit of the enemy is allowed to work in you, then you are grieving the Holy Spirit; something the Bible tells us not to do (Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:19). Any time you allow the enemy to work his will through your mind or body, you grieve the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit also desires to use you; He wants to use you for God’s glory and God’s service. The Spirit provides a gift for you to use in the service of God. The Holy Spirit’s purpose is not to dominate you or crush you, but to fulfill you.

Satan desires to use you for his own purpose, as a pawn in his hand to laugh in God’s face. He desires to use you, abuse you, and then refuse you. You are in a state of living death when you give in to the enemy’s purpose.

Temptation is Satan’s tool for getting you to do things that you really don’t want to do. Deep inside your spirit, you know that what he is tempting you to do is wrong. The worst and most hardened criminals in our world today know they have done wrong, and they often blame others for their actions. They may act as if they don’t care about the fact that they’ve done wrong, been caught, or are facing serious consequences, but deep inside, they have to know. They knew when they were doing wrong that what they were doing was wrong.

Satan’s lie is that you have a right to do wrong. Society is at fault. You have a right to get even with society. Your daddy is at fault. You have a right to rebel against him. Your boss is at fault. You have a right to steal from him or cheat him. God is at fault. He made you this way. You have a right to act the way you do because He made you with this temper, this anger, this lust, this desire.

God’s Word says that you have a right to choose. Joshua said to the Israelites, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). You have a right to choose, a free will, a mind that can make a conscious decision. But none of us have a right to sin.

My challenge today, is to make sure that you are yielding the control of your life only to God. Eat a bit more “angel’s food” and see how your life can change. Imagine how our lives, marriages and families can be different if we totally yield to the will of God.

[print_link] [email_link]

The Reality of the Spirit Realm

The Men of Steel looked into this topic; how often do we wrestle with God?

  1. The Enemy within Me
  2. God Sparing Your Life
  3. Refuse to be a Target
  4. God Wrestles with You… Alone
  5. Why Does God Wrestle with Men?
  6. The Reality of the Spirit Realm

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. — Ephesians 6:12

I’m doing a funeral this Saturday morning at 11:00 and so I began thinking about life and death issues this week. Just what is man, and why is God mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4) This world is not all there is.

There is a world about which many of us know nothing about or of which are even aware, but it’s real, and I’m not talking about the Matrix. While skeptics may doubt it, it is more real than the world we can see, touch, taste, hear, or feel. It is the realm of the spirit.

The most real part of a person is the spirit inside. Men often seem to think the real part of them is their body, but no matter how much you build it up, dress it, or feed it, you are not first and foremost a body. You have a body, but you are a spirit. Your body is a temporary home.

Men also have a soul. From my research, the soul area of man is where most of the problems occur; this is the area of the mind, the emotions, memories, appetites, and desires. The mind of man, including the mind of the Christian, is often trapped between the physical and the spiritual—flashbacks to memories of the former life in the flesh can fill the mind. The result can be a tremendous wrestling match with each force, spirit and flesh, trying to dominate the other. In fact, it is only when a man receives the Word of God and allows it to transform his mind that he is able to save his mind from the shackles of the flesh.

There’s more to the spirit realm. Demons are disembodied spirits. They don’t have a body, and they don’t have a soul—they have no mind or will of their own. Their will is totally subjected to the enemy. They are vessels and carriers of Satan’s nature. They are filled with his desires, his lusts, his passions, and his unclean thoughts.

Because demons don’t have bodies, they are seeking one to inhabit. They are seeking a vehicle through which they can express their lusts and passions for evil.

Jesus once said to Peter, “Behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:31). The King James Version says that “Satan desires to have you…” He was basically saying to Peter, “Satan desires to possess you, to have you, to dominate you.” Men know what it means to lust after a woman in order to have her. I think that’s the way Satan looked at Peter. He lusted after him, that he might completely take Peter’s mind and body—to satisfy his cravings through him. Satan’s demons desire the same thing regarding you…

  • To use your body, your temper, your lust, your passions.
  • To work through the broken places of your childhood to fulfill your starved desires.
  • To possess you so that he might sift you.

I would guess that before Satan makes a move to have you, he studies you. He learns all he can about you—your moods, your attitudes, your background, your past hurts and painful memories, your private desires.

He’s like a stalker. You’re under surveillance, and he’s watching for an opportunity to move in to take you. He longs to possess, dominate, control, rule over, and act through you.

That’s the reason you must walk closely with Jesus. Cling to Him. Become a disciple of Him. Never believe that you can make it on your own strength. David—one of the bravest and most capable men who ever lived—cried out to God, “Hide me under the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8.) Ask God to tuck you under His wings… which is the only place you will ever feel fully secure.

[print_link] [email_link]