Sermons

Summary: We must first recognize the destruction of our lives before we can be delivered. Once we're delivered, Jesus deploys us to live on mission for Him.

Breaking the Chains that Bind

Mark 5:1-20

Rev. Brian Bill

May 27-28, 2016

Nate Weaver Testimony – Part 1

My Name is Nate, I’m an unashamed believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with sin.

When I was 16-years-old, my worst nightmare and biggest fear came true. My parents announced that they were getting a divorce. I was devastated by this news and I plunged into a state of shock, depression, grief, and confusion, without any support or sense of identity. I resorted to a survival mode mentality.

I soon discovered that my ego combined with my anxiety issues made for very good company with alcohol consumption. It was the beginning of a long tragic love affair, and God had been removed as even a blip on my radar for quite some time at this point.

Throughout college my drinking increased exponentially and what I thought at the time was just “experimental” drug use became much more than an occasional activity.

In 2005 probably the second most traumatic event in my life happened. One of my best friends who I had known since 7th grade died in a tragic car accident…this is where my drinking took its most dramatic turn.

I was working in sales for a company and some of my co-workers liked to split a couple pitchers of beer for lunch at work. This increase in drinking quickly started to become out of control and I didn’t even seem to notice it creeping up on me. Eventually I was drinking 24/7, morning, noon and night. Every waking moment of my life was controlled by the thinking about, acquiring and consuming of alcohol. It wasn’t long before my mind and body were completely dependent on the substance and it started to affect my relationships and reliability at work.

On a February morning in 2009 I had been feeling ill for a few days so I left work early. The next thing I remember is waking up in the ICU. Apparently I had an alcohol withdrawal induced seizure and I wrecked my car and had been in a coma for three days.

This was my first introduction to the horrible affects that this poison drug does to the body. It is like no other drug in the way that it makes the body’s vital central nervous system completely dependent on alcohol to function properly. You would think this near death experience would be enough to scare someone into sobriety forever. Unfortunately, for this alcoholic, not being able to drink was still scarier than death. These are the delusions of addiction at their finest.

I still somehow managed to keep a job for about three years. This lasted until October of 2012 when I went to the emergency room because I was vomiting blood nonstop. The doctors looked at me in amazement. They said that my vitamin levels were so low that I should have had a cardiac arrest three days earlier. I told them it had been at least 2 weeks since I had eaten anything. They called me a walking dead man.

Nate felt like a walking dead man. Grab your Bibles and turn to Mark 5 where we’ll meet a man who could be the main character out of the Night of the Living Dead or the main star in the Zombie Apocalypse.

Last weekend we traveled with Jesus across the Sea of Galilee when a mega storm came up and we learned that God’s plans may be puzzling and they often include problems. But those same plans come with His presence and His power and they always have a purpose.

After Jesus stilled the storm, we read in verse 1 that “they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Garasenes.” Let’s just admit that this is a rather strange encounter where we see three realms meeting – Satan, Society and the Savior.

Let me also point out that the Bible declares demon possession is a real issue. This man is not just deranged or suffering from mental illness nor is this encounter just symbolic of evil in the world today. The Bible presents demon possession as sober reality and that’s how we should take it as well.

I like what C.S. Lewis wrote: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

I see a progression in this passage that can be summarized with three words that will serve as our outline:

• Destruction

• Deliverance

• Deployment

1. Destruction. Nate just described the destruction that he experienced through drugs and alcohol. Let’s look now at the destruction demons were causing, leaving a man in mega misery. Verse 2 says that, “When Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.” It was still dark when they landed on the shore of a cemetery and as soon as Jesus disembarked a wild man ran up to him. This had to be an eerie experience for the disciples as their nerves were already shot from the storm on the lake. Luke tells us that he didn’t have any clothes on and that he was “driven by the demon” (Luke 8:29).

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Scott Bayles

commented on Jan 24, 2017

Thanks for this message, brother. It helped me tremendously in preparing my sermon this week, especially the outline.

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