October 18th

 

Birds of a Common Feather Flock Together

“He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.”  Proverbs 26:24-26 NKJV 

43 "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44Then 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. 45Then 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. So shall it also be with this wicked generation."  Matthew 12:43-45 NKJV 

These passages illustrate the communal nature of evil, whether it comes from a man’s heart or from an evil spirit.  Habitual sin gives evil an open invitation to come into our lives.  It often brings other evil influences with it.  If we continue to yield to sin’s desires, the evil will expand its influence over us, gaining more ground in our lives.  This can have disastrous effects.  Consider the example Paul gave in Romans 1:21-31 NIV: 

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”
 

This passage vividly portrays how evil can progressively gain influence over us and make its home in us when we start yielding to its impulses.  Note how at the end of the process the people were filled “with every kind of wickedness.”   

If we’ve already opened the door to evil in our lives through habitual sin, there is hope for recovery and healing.   The blood of Jesus brings forgiveness from our sin and cleansing of our conscience from the “dead works” of sin.   We have Jesus’ authority over every form of evil that may have invaded our life.  Once we’ve repented from our sin, we can apply that authority and take ground back from the enemy.  Whether it is an evil spirit, or simply a tendency toward a particular sin, we can rightfully command it to leave us “in the name of Jesus.”  This can vary in the degree of difficulty depending on the depth of our former sin habits.  For more information about gaining deliverance from evil, see our Freedom Journey I study and our Deliverance from Evil Spirits study. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, thank you for calling me a son and an heir to your kingdom.  Thank you that I have your authority over evil.  If I have opened the door to evil in my life, I repent from that sin right now.  Specifically, I repent from _______________ (list sin).  Please forgive me, Lord and cleanse my conscience from that evil.  I take authority in the name of Jesus Christ over any evil spirit or influence that is living in me as a result of my sin.  I bind you and command you to leave me now peacefully.  I surrender myself completely to God’s control now. The blood of Jesus Christ covers every part of me and evil no longer has any foothold in me.   Holy Spirit, please fill me afresh with your life and strength.  Thank you, Jesus!  I praise you now and forever, Amen!”  

*If you experience “spiritual resistance” when praying this prayer, please visit the above mentioned studies for further help.