I have spent the past few days thinking about a very familiar scripture which most of you know concerning the casting of unclean spirits. It is mentioned in both Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Matthew 12:43-45 (New King James Version)
Have you ever wondered why that is? If a spirit is cast that is in Satan’s kingdom, you would think that he would just show back up at headquarters and ask to be reassigned. Why do they wander seeking rest? Rest? If they are in a war with us and this war is coming down to the end, it shows you the state of mind of the troops of Lucifer. It would seem that some do not want to be in the front lines of the battle. But they just want to hang out in someone’s human body until it is over. It is reminiscent to me of the Gulf War when Iraqi soldiers were surrendering in droves when the war first began. They knew how futile the fight would be.
One of the most amazing encounters Jesus had was with the man in the Gadarenes and a demon who called himself “Legion”.
“And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.” Mark 5:8-11 (King James Version)
Why would this spirit ask not to be sent out of the country? Why would he rather reside in a pig than to be sent back into the service of Lucifer? The reason is simple: serving in Satan’s army must stink! Serving a general who has pitiful leadership skills is extremely discouraging. Fighting for a cause that ultimately ends in defeat is unmotivational. So what else would they want to do but hang out in the body of a person until the final judgment?
Have you ever seen one single scripture where an angel of the Lord was tired or seeking rest? Absolutely not. Every time there is a mention of an angelic encounter, that person appears to be strong, motivated to obedience, competent, capable, and ready to head back into the fight.
In Daniel’s classic encounter with a warrior from our team, he tells of the battle and why he was delayed in getting there:
“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” Daniel 10:12-14 (New Living Translation)
And then he says something amazing. He doesn’t want to look for a place to rest. He doesn’t want to spend some time in a nearby pig. He says that he wants to take care of business here, and then head back into the heat of the battle.
“He replied, “Do you know why I have come? Soon I must return to fight against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia, and after that the spirit prince of the kingdom of Greece will come. Meanwhile, I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth.” Daniel 10:20-21 (New Living Translation)
Can you see why you have chosen the right team to be on? (Or rather the right team has chosen you)
Fight the good fight of faith! Resist the devil and he will flee from you…not fight to the death. Remember that you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that doesn’t have any problem with kicking some satanic butt if they have to. Be a warrior and not a person seeking rest. Be a conqueror and not a casualty. There will be plenty of time to rest when this part of the plan is done. In fact, I believe there is a banquet planned for us. Let’s be there!