“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.
44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean, and put in order.
45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation!”
Room for Jesus?
The no-good tenant has been evicted. The damaged house has been repaired and repainted. But the owner has left the house empty and unlocked. Soon the “tenant from hell” returns with seven of his friends, and they take over the house.
We would be stupid to leave a vacant house unlocked, or let a stranger into our home without checking his credentials. But in this simple story, Jesus urges us to take control of the spiritual forces that influence our lives.
Today the search for spiritual reality, power and healing presents a smorgasbord of options, including Astrology, yoga, martial arts, Reiki and Tarot. The invitation is to “empty yourself, listen to your spirit guides, receive the energy of the universe.”
But if there is a battle between good and evil forces, as Tolkien portrays in “Lord of the Rings”, how will we guard against deception or seduction without a leader of integrity and authority to guide us?
Jesus claimed and exercised spiritual authority over spiritual forces. He set Mary Magdalene and others free from the evil spirits that controlled their lives. He fulfilled his own prophecy to “lay down his life and take it up again.”
Today Jesus offers to enter our lives for our good. John pictures him as a guest at the door, waiting to be invited inside. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Will you invite him in?