Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.*
And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.'
In the Bible, if 40 means trial and this devotion falls on that number, then perhaps God is confirming one truth: our biggest battles are fought in the mind. In the land of the free, many aren't free. Because minds can get tied up and tortured.
A sad array of mental disorders (including anxiety, depression, anorexia and nervous breakdowns) target our joy and productivity. They infiltrated my own family, but masses are similarly besieged: in America alone, consider 43.8 million and counting.**
Mental health professionals strategize causes and various treatment options. But Jesus laid the blame at Satan's feet: the devil and his team of oppressors. Therefore, the Captain of our salvation fought and freed us from demonic control.
In politically correct churches, the casting out of demons is messy and culturally unacceptable. Possibly, readers of this devotion don't believe or endorse this strange practice.*** But since Jesus spent so much time on it, I think deliverance is relevant and could help innumerable people.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Throughout the fields of entertainment, magic and dark heroes entice us. People know unseen forces exist, and Satan tempts them with his powers. They don't get how demons might hurt them.
I don't get why Christians ignore them and refuse to seek deliverance in the way the Great Healer prescribed. If you think I'm wrong, study God's Word. Like the Bereans, search His Scriptures. Great people, like Mary Magdalene, have amazing lives ahead of them--when their minds are freed from oppression.
To Be Continued...
* Mary Magdalene, The Woman Who Had Seven Devils: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Mary-Magdalene
** List of mental health disorders: http://mentalhealth.com/p20-grp.html
** Mental Health By The Numbers: http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers
** Stats on mental illness, Mental Disorders in America: http://www.thekimfoundation.org/html/about_mental_ill/statistics.html
** Stats on mental illness, 19 Statistics That Prove Mental Illness Is More Prominent Than You Think: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/01/mental-illness-statistics_n_6193660.html
*** I don't want to offend anyone, and surely God gives us freedom of choice. That being said, I have experienced and witnessed deliverance. Perhaps no one could be more skeptical than I was, and surely some quacky people (who call themselves Christians) have made a fake show of it... but many deep-in-the-Spirit believers have been freed and now help others get freed as well.
*** My favorite author on deliverance (after Christ) is Derek Prince: https://www.amazon.com/They-Shall-Expel-Demons-Invisible/dp/0800792602
*** Short article: Top 7 Bible Verses To Cast Out Demons: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2015/07/15/top-7-bible-verses-to-cast-out-demons/
*** Previous 2-part AMTC Devotion Series, Demons: http://amtcdevotions.org/demons-part-1
*** Previous AMTC Devotion, Depression (A Personal Story): http://amtcdevotions.org/depression-part-2-a-personal-story
*** Previous AMTC Devotion, Deliverance, Panic & Fear: http://amtcdevotions.org/deliverance-part-7-depression-panic--fear
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.