When I was a child, my mom would jokingly say, “the devil made me do it,” whenever she ate too many cookies or splurged on something for herself. Many today think the devil is a joke or just a figure of speech and don’t fear the dark angel. It is often said, if you believe in God, you need to believe that there is a devil. Believing in the unseen spirit world is incomprehensible to a nonbeliever, but I am fully convinced Satan and his fallen angels – demons, exist as a Christian believer. I have a keen respect for the power they wield in the unseen world on those of us on earth. Only a demonic spirit could do the evil and horrific atrocities I have seen during my lifetime. In Matthew 12: 43-45, Jesus teaches us about demons so that we might understand and not fear them but take precautions on how they use their power.
Jesus demonstrates using a house to represent our soul.
I sang a children’s song about a wise man who built his house about the rock and a foolish man who built his house on the sand and was based on a parable that Jesus told (Matthew 7:24-27). Here Jesus teaches us that our soul needs to have a firm foundation – a rock to survive the storms of life. That foundation is found in the Word of God. When we become believers, we tend to have lots of junk in our houses – ourselves that needs to be cleaned and swept out. They are unclean thoughts, unforgiveness, jealousy, hate, bitterness, and other kinds of selfish dirty habits in our past life. It is “stuff” we have clung to but that God wants to renovate. He is our Master Designer and desires that we experience “Wow” times with Him. Those over-the-top joyous moments when we walk into a newly renovated place and see it with new refreshed eyes. But to do that, we may need to endure some painstaking work. Clearing out the junk means a willingness to endure some sweat and maybe moments of pain.
However, when we start cleaning out the bad stuff and don’t replace it with God’s good stuff – His Word, our house (soul) is left empty. When we are empty, He knows we will be vulnerable to feeling cold and desolate. It is our human nature to begin to fill our house with what we filled it with before and to compromise. Soon our life is filled with even more filth than it was before. Bad choices like idol worship, friends that aren’t good for us to be around, and other destructive habits come rushing in. Psychologists and doctors tell us that we don’t suddenly change from addictive patterns but that it usually takes multiple times. Making positive changes takes a conscious effort on the part of the individual to keep putting good choices in place.
During COVID, we have been confined to our homes. Many have ‘cleaned house’ in multiple ways. We have slowed our busy lives, examined the use of our time, and made changes to give God a significant place. Wanting to keep those renovated changes post-pandemic is our goal. Jesus warned us that if we don’t consistently keep filling our house with the presence of Godly habits, we will fill it back up fast with demonic junk and goes on to tell us that this will describe what will happen to the people of the evil generation.
Are we living in this generation?
Demons are monsters in the unseen world that come to destroy lives. Have we domesticated and sanitized them by making them into comedic jokes or fairytale stories? It will take more than a quick prayer to trash them out of our lives (houses). It will take a determined individual who will focus and give space to bible reading, fasting, and prayer. The question is, are you willing to mindfully be aware of how dirt quickly accumulates when human rooms are left barren and prioritize your choices to always keeping God His place in your life?
The devil never makes you do anything. You do!