When Heads Grow Back
When I was 9 I had an obsession with the cartoon movie Hercules and I watched the movie so many times and my grandparents house it drove my grandpa crazy, I did a few things to drive Grandpa up the wall however in the movie there was a scene where a dragon like monster that when every time Hercules cut off one head two more would grow back to replace it. He kept doing this until the monster had hundreds of heads. This is not to much different from us trying to deal with sin, if we go about it on a surface level we fail to really deal with it at the heart. It ended up that Hercules was finally able to destroy it by having a large rock fall on the multi headed monster to completely obliterate it.
Luke 11:21-26 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. “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.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 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.”
In essence Jesus was teaching that the strong man was Satan, the house was a persons life, and the stronger man who overpowered the original strong man was Christ. In order for the first strong man to be expelled, one greater and more powerful must wage war against him. The former state of our lives was under control of Satan, and what we possessed in the house amounted to nothing. These things were empty works and sins.
Romans 6:20, 22 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
Yet when the Christ the Righteous of God invaded our lives he kicked Satan to the curb.
But what about the person who tries to give the devil the boot? After all there are many people who can stop behaviors and habits and clean up their lives and not be Christians, right? Yes but look at what Jesus said after the first portion of this verse:
Luke 11:24-26 “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.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 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.”
See the house is “swept clean” but not guarded. There is nothing to police or secure the work that has been done so therefore the threat returns and brings his buddies. To a non-Christian there is nothing to keep this from occurring. For a believer filled with the Holy Spirit there is safety and security that an external reform cannot deal with.
However I believe that even a Christian at times through not letting the Spirit control all the rooms of his heart or parts of his life can fall prey to strongholds. In a war often times many battles are thought to gain or maintain territory. The devil can and does establish footholds in a believer’s life if allowed, it’s happened to me time and time again.
We must protect our hearts above all else for it is the wellspring of life Proverbs 4:23 Says.
It’s not just a matter of boundaries, protective measures, or accountability only- these are only the second or third line of defense but sin ultimately comes from within the heart!
Mark 7:17-23 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean. He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
“Where there is a will, there is a way” We can take all the measures we want and if our hearts not right, in a moment of temptation we will find a way around them.