Immoveable (Holding Your Ground in A Culture of Chaos)
Text: Luke 8:26-33
Though we live in an unstable world built on shifting sands, demonstrated by the changing economic, social and health vista created by the current pandemic. In the midst of all this, it is possible to develop the qualities of character that will contribute to a life of stability, even when there is chaos all around.
The Chaos We Create
We see in the account that we read earlier, a man who is possessed by multiple demons. His life was a million miles away from what it used to be. He was a city man used to the finer things in life. Yet he had not worn clothes for a long time (running around naked), He was no longer living in a house but amongst the tombs (darkness, hopelessness, decay and death)
How many times have you walked down the street and encountered and seen people who are roofless or homeless, intoxicated by alcohol or chemical substance. And you have wondered how did they get here?
In the case of the demon possessed man, his state wasn’t accidental but the result of choices that he had made during the course of his life that had opened him up and given the demons authority to operate and work in his life.
Likewise if your life is in a state of withdrawal, confusion, chaos, fear and anxiety. I want to suggest you didn’t arrive there by accident but a result of choices that you have made in your journey of life. But stay with me because there is hope to be found in Jesus.
This episode must be understood in the context of the cosmic battle that Jesus was involved in throughout His ministry. The battle is with the menacing influences of fallen powers, principalities and forces of chaos that oppose Yahweh, the Lord Almighty. God is not a God of disorder/confusion but a God of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33 (exemption form rage and havoc of war)
Behaviours fuelled by a need to have things in your life that are constantly in flux. (Instability/unrest) In a culture where the ‘extreme theme’ has become the norm, people are increasingly seduced into believing that intensity equals being alive. But what happens, the mind becomes wired for drama and the soul is starved of meaningful purpose.
2.It’s Your Identity
Jesus asked the man What is your name? v.20 but it was the thing that had got hold of him that replied How we think of ourselves is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Proverbs 23:7 for as he thinks within himself, so he is. Once we start down a path of identifying ourselves as unfortunate, struggling victims, it becomes harder to pull ourselves out of that mindset.
What to do about it: Recognise if you identify with being the victim, You need Jesus to enter into your circumstance and environment.
With our 1st century Jewish understanding, In the account Jesus and his disciples had just entered the heart of the kingdom of darkness. Region of Gentiles (presence of herd of pigs), Unclean, the man himself considered ‘impure’ However dark, desperate or dirty your circumstances Jesus will enter into them if you invite Him.
3.You Don’t really Think you Have a Choice
In fact, things don’t just happen. We create them happening. Not by consciously making them happen, but by unconsciously letting them happen.
What to do about it: Those things the enemy meant for our harm, God will use for our good Genesis 50:20 and that God works all things together for good to those who love God Romans 8:28
The enemy will drive but Jesus leads.If you feel compelled to do something, that you have no choice you can be assured that is not the Holy Spirit because He leads us beside the still waters.
4. You have nothing to replace it with
You may be concerned, if you take away the chaos from life you might be left with your “same old boring life.” Again, this is probably not a conscious motivation.
This gospel-grounded vision of God’s faithfulness rests in the finished work of Christ on the cross,trusts him for today, and hopes fully on the grace to be revealed to us in the future.
The chaos in our heart is no match for God’s mercy toward us in Christ Jesus. Our hearts are anchored fast to God’s faithfulness even in the spin cycle of our circumstances.