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Devotionals 2011 - 2012

Bad to the Bone
October 18, 2011By Ed Wrather

Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains,  because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. – Mark 5:1-6 NKJV.

Toni Silvey has a few problems, including charges of stalking her ex-boyfriend. Stalking is perhaps too mild of a word for the actions of this woman toward her ex, Peter Main. Over a three month period, Toni attempted 1,001 phone calls to Peter, sent him 700 emails, egged his house, and...crashed her car into his vehicle. Many of her stalking activities are documented in her blog. When police questioned her about the stalking, she responded with, “Read my blog.” Which they did. After police officers warned her against any further stalking activities, she immediately began behaving like any normal human being would. Peter Main can only wish that were true! Later on, the same day, after police warned her, Toni went to Peter's property with...eggs, and proceeded to egg things. (Houston Chronicle 10.11.11)

As with most situations, there are probably two sides to this story. However, Toni's actions do appear to be a little over the top. I once had a woman tell me that she took a hammer and used it on her ex-boyfriend's new pickup truck. Having seen the woman, if I were her ex-boyfriend, I might have considered moving to another state, and assuming a new identity. Sadly, we know that many relational problems end in even more tragic ways. But what is it that make some go far, far beyond the acceptable norms of society in seeking revenge, and others in just their way of living life?

I believe there is a spiritual component, to the bad actions that we so frequently see. In the Bible, in the Gospel of Mark chapter five, we are told about a man that is completely out of control. If you want to talk about bad, this man was bad, he was uncontrollable; and the people had tried to control him, tried to stop his bad behavior. Concerned citizens had wrapped this man in chains, but he broke the chains, pulling them apart. The shackles they put on his arms and legs; he broke into pieces. He was always in the mountains crying out and cutting himself. Everyone that knew him had long ago written him off. There was no way this person could ever change. There was no way that anyone could ever help this person. There was no hope. You could say that he was just bad to the bone. 

Everyone who wrote off the uncontrollable, bad to the bone man of Mark chapter five, were wrong! Enter Jesus to the scene. Jesus does what? Jesus made the thousands of demons who inhabited the man to leave. Then, this man who had been bad to the bone was “sitting and clothed and in his right mind.” 

Is everyone who acts badly demon possessed? Not necessarily, but we would be wrong to dismiss the possibility. Some people are not necessarily demon possessed like the man in Mark chapter five but are being influenced demonically. We are told in Ephesians 6:16, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” The apostle Paul is not writing to lost people in this verse. He is writing to believers who know Jesus as their personal Savior. 

Christians must be on guard against demonic influences, i.e. “fiery darts” being sent into their lives. We have our fleshly desires, but many also have compelling thoughts suggesting that they should do things like: abuse alcohol and drugs; look at p_rn, or indulge other s_xual addictions; gamble; cut themselves, like the man in Mark chapter five; and, many other things which are wrong for Christians to do. Let us “Put on the whole armor of God, that (we) you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).”

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