Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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In Luke chapter 11 Jesus told us what happens when a demonic spirit is driven out, possibly by a crisis and human effort, maybe even a well meant intervention of friends, but the demon is not replaced by the power of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The end of that person will be worse than it was to start with.
I wonder if Jesus told this on a number of occasions throughout his ministry. Because in Matthew chapter 12, probably on a different occasion, Jesus used this story as a parable to demonstrate something on a grander scale. Look at these verses and especially at the application from the context that is given in Matthew 12:45, the final verse of the passage.
“When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest but doesn’t find any. Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to my house that I came from.’ And returning, it finds the house vacant, swept, and put in order. Then off it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man’s last condition is worse than the first. That’s how it will also be with this evil generation.”
Here Jesus is explaining not simply what happens to a person, but what happens to an entire generation that turns over a new leaf without the power of God. We too are living in a generation in which God's presence, purpose, and power are vacant from our culture.
I have written lately of my concern about the press in our generation toward not wanting to live if life were no longer comfortable or diverting.* I believe this is evidence that the purpose even of many who profess Christ in this generation is ease and pleasure.
I said I wanted to write as long as possible. And when I could no longer write, I could still pray for people whom God brings into my life. I believe this is God's purpose for me. This is good, and I hope it is the plan of God for me. But this misses a more important truth. The fuller purpose of my life is the glory of God.
I begin my morning devotional each day with John 12:27,28 where Jesus was troubled as He looked ahead to the agony and indignity of death on a cross and separation from His Heavenly Father.
"Now is my heart troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
In relation to these verses I have written out the simple prayer, “Father, I pray that Your Name may be glorified through my life.” The things that I mentioned may bring Him glory. But He can still be glorified if I am unconscious, without dignity, feeble minded, or in too much pain to write or even pray beyond crying out to God to release me! At least in the final stanza of His glory everyone will see how He wove even this together for His glory and my good in the entire tapestry of my life.
But I grieve for what is yet to come upon our generation where God's glory and purpose are vacant. The final state of our generation, will be much worse even that it is today.
*(You can see some of what I have written on this concern by scrolling down to Facing Death With Hope, in this blog, The Anchor of The Soul, http://theanchorofthesoul.blogspot.com/ )