Luke 11:24-26 24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
Removing something bad is definitely a good thing! That’s common sense to all of us. But, it’s only the first step of the best ending, which is having that space filled with something good. This is very true in the spiritual realm. In this passage, an evil spirit is forced to leave a person’s body, something difficult that would require God’s power. Yet, the person ended up seven times worse than he originally was! What happened? How could God be involved when a man’s life only plummeted down further?
Removing bad things is only half of the process.
Remove a large chard of glass from your stomach. End result: possibly bleeding out and dying. Remove an abusive person from your life. End result: a hurting person just as likely to get back into another bad relationship or turn to other means to feel better. Remove your child’s gaming system to help him stop wasting time. End result: he watches hours of TV now instead.
God is not a half-way God!
When He comes into a problem, He makes things better, 100% better actually! But, it isn’t always instant or in the way we may expect. God’s timing can feel really off to us! There can be some uncomfortableness and pain He leads us through times where doubts can easily creep in. He removes destructive tendencies and replaces them with His hope and power. And that always involves the Holy Spirit equipping us where we were powerless. When we stick with God and His plan, we can be assured we will end up much better off, every time.
When we realize there’s an area God is prompting us change, we need to accept His full treatment and process – removal of the bad and filling with the good. To stop part way is always foolish and potentially dangerous. He knows how lost we are in this maze of life and has the key to guide us out. He helps us analyze our heart motives and how they impact our hopes and desires. Perhaps a person hopes to eat better. God may slowly and lovingly point out that it isn’t just a willpower issue. It’s finding our complete satisfaction in Him. He provides our comfort, He gives life meaning, He helps us focus our hopes and dreams on the right things, not just on food. When God helps us get excited to make changes in our life, we need to include him in every single step. Allow him to set the pace and ensure your success by removing the bad and replacing it with His best.