Summary: Multitudes who start down the road of permissiveness are soon trapped in a lifestyle of enslaving addictions and shameless practices that rob them of self-respect, satisfaction, and hope. Essentially, Satan has them in his power, just as he had the maniac

Overcoming Demonic Powers (Mark 5:1-5:20)

Jesus knew that some of the greatest battles are fought with demonic powers. The Bible promises us victory in advance if we appropriate Christ’s truth. "Greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world." (I John 4:4) When Jesus healed the demon possessed man in Gerasenes, He gave us a demonstration of how to overcome the powers of darkness that has taken control of people. Many people do not understand how subtly demonic forces influence people’s thinking. Jesus goes directly to the source of the problem when He says, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" (Mark 5:8)

Illustration: They . . . found the man . . . , sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. --Luke 8:35

Few of us have ever met anyone as wild and violent as the man Jesus encountered in Gadara (Lk. 8:26-39). He was obviously under the control of a demonic power that had ripped him from society and had made him a violent, screaming maniac. Jesus delivered him from Satan’s control, however, and returned him to society, sane and respectable.

While Satan undoubtedly still uses demon possession to express his hatred for God and mankind, he usually does so in less spectacular ways. For example, getting people to believe that we are nothing more than chance products of blind evolution is an idea that works very well for him today. Such a belief is attractive to many because it promises freedom from moral restraints and offers immediate gratification. But multitudes who start down the road of permissiveness are soon trapped in a lifestyle of enslaving addictions and shameless practices that rob them of self-respect, satisfaction, and hope. Essentially, Satan has them in his power, just as he had the maniac.

The good news for those trapped in sin is that Jesus Christ still delivers all who turn to Him. And the good news for those who have trusted Christ for deliverance is that we have a message of hope worth telling. (Our Daily Bread)

The Lord Jesus gives us the power in His word, through the Holy Spirit and with His promises to overcome evil with faith. (I John 5:4,5)

1. Demons recognize they are powerless to resist the Almighty will of Jesus Christ. Christians simply need to take advantage of the power within them in the person of the Holy Spirit.

2. Jesus encourages the men who He delivers from demons to return to give witness to the power of God to change lives. The Lord wants us to plan to move people through our battles in bringing many to the Savior.

Illustration: He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. --1 John 4:4

During the 1930s, a missionary in a primitive African village saw firsthand the conflict between the power of the kingdom of evil and the omnipotence of God.

According to author Calvin Miller, a witch doctor had warned the missionary that the tribal god would destroy his school. A bolt of lightning fulfilled his threat. Convinced that the voodoo spirit would not have the last word, the missionary publicly proclaimed that the God of the Bible would strike the witch doctor’s totem with lightning that night. To the utter amazement of the village people, that’s exactly what happened! They saw this as evidence of the superior power of the missionary’s God.

In the book of Exodus, Moses and Aaron could have been intimidated by Pharaoh’s magicians. Their demonic power was clearly evident when their rods became serpents. But God reassured His servants and reminded them of His superior power when Aaron’s rod-turned-serpent devoured the other serpents.

The power of Satan is demonstrated as he works through unbelief and false religious systems. But when we walk with God, we need not be afraid. The devil and all his forces are no match for God. (Our Daily Bread)

The power of Christ within you is greater than the power of evil around you.

3. Jesus is able to overcome any obsessive force with the power of His word. Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me. Go in all nations and make disciples." Do not think that the Lord gives you the power to overcome demonic forces for selfish reasons.

4. Do not try to confront demonic powers with your own strength, cunning or methods. It is not by power or by might that you will experience victory, but it is only by the strength of God’s Spirit

5. Do not get weary if you are not able to exorcise the demons immediately. Often a power encounter to loose people from their demonic influences takes hours and several sessions.

6. Realize that demonic influence can come in large and small amounts. Some people are experiencing emotional anguish on a low level and may not even recognize it. For this reason ask the Lord to cleanse everyone involved from all sins of commission, omission and assumptions.

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