When Our Issues are Running the Show

“When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’” – Matthew 8:28-29 (NIV)

The Bible talks about Jesus casting out demons from two men who had been demon possessed in Matthew 8:28-34. They were violent and no one could move around in the area where they lived. But Jesus went there.

The men were coming from the tombs. The demons had such influence over these men that they controlled their thoughts and actions. Had they been in their right minds, the men would not be living in the tombs. The demons had these two men confined to an area where dead things were placed.  And the men were so violent that no one dared to come into their presence.

Sometimes our issues keep us roaming around in places where there is no vitality. Places where there is no sustenance for our souls. Places God never intended for us to dwell in. Places where, had we been in our right minds, we would have never wandered to.

There are some relationships we would have never considered if we were operating from a healthy place emotionally and spiritually. But our issues made decisions for us because they were running the show. And we find ourselves caught up in spaces and entangled in compromising situations because our minds were so diseased by our issues. And those issues make people afraid to be around us.

As long as the men stayed among the tombs, the people of the town were content.

God finds us where we are. He goes to the deepest and darkest places within us to heal us and set us free from that which keeps us away from dwelling where we should.

The men asked Jesus what He wanted with them and whether He had come to torture them.

When we see God through our pain and dysfunction, we will always accuse Him of ill intent. We will think He is coming to condemn or punish us, and yet He is coming to free us.

Also notice that the men never asked to be healed. Instead, when they opened their mouths, the demons spoke. Sometimes our issues do the talking for us. They take complete control over us and when people see us, they don’t get to see who we are; they see our issues. Our issues speak so loudly we can’t even ask for help. We don’t know how.

But God sees your heart. He knows who you are. And even though what comes out of you betrays your true self, He knows it’s the inner demon talking; it’s the pain talking; it’s the dysfunction talking. He sees past your issues, past your pain and sees your need for deliverance.

Just like the demons recognized Jesus, the sin within us that tries to keep us down responds to God’s presence. It cannot cohabitate with the Holy Spirit. When God commands, it must leave.

So, back to the story…

The demons asked to be sent into the swine and Jesus did as they asked. The swine drowned and those keeping the pigs went and told the people of the town what had happened. The Bible says that the whole town went out to meet Jesus and begged Him to leave.

How sad it is that the response of the people of that town was to ask Jesus to leave. They valued the pigs more than they did the men.

Some people would rather you live in bondage than see you healed. As long as your issues don’t affect them, they are good. Your deliverance upsets their normal and they will never celebrate what God has done for you; they cannot bring themselves to.

Your healing stripped them of something they valued above you. Your deliverance caused something to be taken away from them. Maybe they no longer have the power to control you anymore. Maybe your brokenness made them feel better about themselves. And now, your freedom has left them exposed and vulnerable.

They will never applaud your healing because it comes at a loss to them. But don’t worry about them. All that matters is that Jesus saw you and delivered you; and now your issues no longer have control over you.

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