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Driving Jesus Out

Driving Jesus Out

I used to think I knew how Jesus operated. I mean I finally had found the church that did it right, had all the correct doctrine, spoke all the right words, and interpreted all the passages accurately. The years I found myself steeped in this “one way” approach to the Christian life left me feeling anxious. I felt judged and somewhat distanced from those who I honestly shared my, at times, different point of view on a passage of scripture or a church procedure. I learned to shut my mouth, lest I be ostracized.

Insecurity set in, as did judgment towards other church traditions and this began to harden my heart, as I submitted to those who appeared to be right as rain. At times I’d scoff at those who demonstrated a more charismatic movement of the Holy Spirit, deeming them “looking for attention” or “glorifying man”. This scrutiny towards my brothers and sisters in Christ was a worse sin than those I had committed in my pre-Christ days.

Consider this: “Then Jesus entered the house, and again, the crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard of this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3:20-21)

Simultaneously, the teachers of the Law said: “He is possessed by Beelzebul. By the Prince of demons he is driving out demons.” And “He has an impure spirit.” (Also from Mark 3)

JESUS is out of His mind?? JESUS has a demonic spirit working in Him? How could these people be so ignorant? How could they have witnessed His miraculous healings and deliverance, and yet attribute His loving acts to the work of the devil??

Sparked by the words of Brian Hardin, I saw something in this particular passage that I had not seen before. Over the years the Lord steered me into His grace toward other churches through passages like Mark 9, where Jesus rebukes His disciples who called out those driving out demons in His name “not of us”. Jesus simply says to them, “No one who does a miracle in My Name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”  And seeing how even Paul didn’t seem overly concerned about motives, saying, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” (Phil. 1:18) But what was pointed out to me was even more impactful on my judgmental heart…please read this carefully…In Mark 3 Jesus clearly tells the religious leaders that “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” Certainly these “teachers of the Law” were throwing verbal stones at Jesus out of jealousy, fear, and ignorance.

But what about us?

What happens when I see miracles happen in fellowships that I am suspect of? Do I chalk them off as being misled, unbiblical, or worse, demonically guided? And really, how do I know this? Have we considered how insane the early church must have appeared to the masses as they drove out demons, spoke in tongues, healed all sorts of infirmities, rejoiced under horrendous circumstances, and yet many were added to their number daily?? How these early Jesus-followers must have been grossly misunderstood! People frequently accusing them of being demon possessed. And yet, the very same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead was at work in them. Holy Spirit moving in miraculous ways that made those who wanted predictability quite uneasy, even to the point of “blaspheming the Holy Spirit” who was at work in those believers.

Those churches that are currently experiencing miraculous events such as outrageous healings and raising the dead just might be opening a way-too-long closed door to the works and power of God’s Spirit. Calling what they’re doing “demonic” might be far from accurate.

If Jesus was accused of such, we will also. But I don’t want to be on the wrong side of that equation, throwing accusatory statements at works I don’t understand. In my zeal to be “biblical” may I see with spiritual eyes all manner of marvelous possibilities manifested by the God of creation.

Let’s not drive out Jesus in an attempt to drive out the devil. What we’re seeing just might be powerful works of the Spirit as He calls His church to rise into the miraculous, getting us ready for the Son’s sure return. I don’t want to miss another single minute of His miraculous move.

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Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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