''Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came;' and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.'
Emptiness begs to be filled. Before I was a Christian, I heard the 'God-shaped hole' talk. It didn't make sense to me. Even so, I sought fullness. I tried to fill myself with food, work, stuff and media. But none of the fills lasted. So I returned to get more. Mine is a common story.
In the case of demonic deliverance, I question this practice on non-believers. Because without faith and God's Holy Spirit, the empty place left behind begs to be filled. What if the demons (or more) come back to them? Doesn't today's Scripture warn us of that plight?
But consider the tomb-dwelling maniac: the naked, screaming cutter with crazy strength. He was possessed by a legion of demons. Undaunted, Jesus showed mercy and freed him. Amazingly, he returned to his right mind. He showed great faith when he begged to follow, but Jesus sent him home as a publicist.**
So if you're praying for an outsider's deliverance, whether in person or interceding at a distance, consider this question before you step in: Is the non-believer seeking the Truth? Because the maniac ran toward Jesus. Even with demons, he fell down and worshipped Him.
Because God must enter where Satan departs. Therein, the emptiness has been filled by Him. If demons come, no room is left at the inn.
To Be Continued...***
* The Message translation of Matthew 12:-43-45
: 'When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn't find anyone, it says, 'I'll go back to my old haunt.' On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he'd never gotten cleaned up in the first place.'
'That's what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren't hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in.'
** The full story of The Gerasene Demoniac: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%205%3A1-20
*** Additional Reading: Previous AMTC Devotion: Practice Makes Perfect, The Emptiness To Avoid: http://amtcdevotions.org/practice-makes-perfect-part-8-the-emptiness-to-avoid
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deliverance series.