Summary: What do you allow to control your life? Many things battle for control over us. When the Holy spirit is in control we are in safe hands.

Who is in control of your life?

November 4th, 2001

Mark 5:1-20

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. [2] When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. [3] This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. [4] For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. [5] Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

[6] When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. [7] He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!" [8] For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

[9] Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"

"My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." [10] And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

[11] A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. [12] The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." [13] He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

[14] Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. [15] When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. [16] Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man--and told about the pigs as well. [17] Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

[18] As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. [19] Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." [20] So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Illustration: Paul Harvey told a story about a lady who was overweight and blamed it on the traffic on the city street. She would go to bed at night and the traffic outside her window would keep her awake. So, rather than lay there awake, she’d get up and eat. Her reason for being overweight wasn’t her overeating or a physical problem she had, but rather the traffic

This story is in all three synoptic gospels. Matt 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-39

Matthews account is more abbreviated than the other two and mentions 2 men rather than one. Although this is the same story it is told from 3 different points of veiw.

However, the main point is that this mans life was being controlled by something else.

Let’s look at His behavior

1. Lived in the tombs—graveyard

2. Had been chained up several times and broken free

3. Could not be subdued

4. Was naked -

5. Screamed day and night— Was in agony

6. Cut himself. - Probably trying to end his life

When he met Jesus He was freed from all of this. The old controls on his life were released and he was then controlled by the spirit of God.

He can safely be assumed that this man had some control issues. The residence of his body did things to and through him as they pleased.

This morning I want to ask “ Who is in control of your life?”

We will look at four different things that control us today.

I. Is Satan in control of your life?

a. Demon possession - As we read the gospel accounts we see a lot of demon possession. Today the only time you hear about demon possession is in relation to sci-fi or from a few radical nuts.

I feel that demon possession is as real today as it was then. I think Jesus was the only one with true spiritual discernment to really know and expose these forces.

I am not real sure how one becomes possessed but I would imagine that they some how allow it to happen. I do not want to dwell on the theology of demon possession this morning.

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