Shane Idleman: Lord, Help Me Change! I Can’t On My Own

Pastor Shane Idleman

Matthew 12:43-45 “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…” (NKJV).

Many use this verse to caution Christians, but the context is rejecting Christ: “The unclean spirit leaves for a time, but when he returns, he finds Christ is not there to shut him out; the heart is swept by outward reformation … and the man becomes a more decided enemy of the truth. Every heart is the residence of unclean spirits, except those which are temples of the Holy Ghost, by faith in Christ” (Matthew Henry).

But there is a very important principle that we can learn: We must fill our heart with the things of God. The demons returned and found the heart void of God … void of truth.

“No good parallel has been cited for the journeying in waterless places, but the imagery is probably based on the idea that the demons will move naturally in realms where conditions are antithetical to human well-being, and devoid of the blessing of God” (John Nolland).

Nolland is spot on. Demonic activity will move naturally in realms where conditions are opposed to our well-being and devoid of the blessing of God. They look for and feed on environments where God is absent, such as our entertainment choices. Movies like Fifty Shades of Grey, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, The Woman in Black, and so on hinder your relationship with God. We either provide fertile ground for Satan to work, or fertile ground for the things of God to grow. Ephesians 4:27 tells us not to give the devil a foothold. A foothold is a secure position that allows him to make further progress. And our mind is the battlefield.

We pray and ask God to do something, but often forget about our responsibility to obey. We have responsibilities, yet we are totally dependent on God. We must do our part, but we can’t do His. When we abandon God’s plan for our lives, we abandon His covering … His shelter … His protection.

How can we position ourselves in the will of God and not give the devil a foothold?

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at shaneidleman.com or wcfav.org. Follow him on Facebook at: facebook.com/confusedchurch.