Matthew 8:28 – 32

28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, [b]permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”

32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.

As an avid reader, I’ve always loved this story! It has everything –  a creepy setting,  crazy villains, a great hero,  the surprise plot twist of the pigs, and a happy ending, well, unless you’re a pig or a demon. I can see it all unfold in my imagination.

Recently my pastor used it to illustrate a sermon. He was preaching about how as believers, we have authority over the enemy.  Not other humans, but like Jesus, on the demonic forces that come against us. He used this passage to point out the demons’ fear. His basic point was that believers spend a lot of time worrying about the attack of the enemy, but demons should run scared when WE walk into a room! I love that thought.

Acts 19: 13-15 tells another story.

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

These men didn’t have authority, because they weren’t believers.

Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”

Since that sermon, I’ve spent more time walking in what I believe is my authority as a child of God. I may not be able to stop the enemy from attacking me, but I can change how I react. And so can you!  We can also pray for our fellow believers with authority and conviction. What a picture! The Holy Spirit so alive in us that demons flee when we walk into a room.

Prayer: Lord, I’m sure most of us seldom see or understand the spiritual fight going on around us. Help! We want to be in the battle. We don’t want to be cowering in fear, defeated when trouble comes, but armed to the teeth with your word – ready to send the enemy packing! Make us into prayer warriors!  Tattoo the answer for Acts 19:15 on our heart – “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” I AM HIS!