Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Plundered Goods

I think there's a pretty strong mentality of individuality and independence in America. It's the Land of the Free, right? The country where you can get all that and a bag of chips. We pull ourselves up by bootstraps (which I've never seen), and drink our whiskey straight. On the rocks. In other words, we are a self-made country.

I guess I can see where it comes from, considering our origins and the uniqueness of the way we earned our independence. So, when I say that each one of us are goods that trade hands, there is a propensity for great offense to be taken.


Well, bear with me, 'cuz this takes a bit of explanation. And the first part is reading Matthew 12:22-32. It's a bit of a read, but I've pasted it here for your convenience. How nice of me. Thanks me!

Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
 Hey! Focus! Your eyes were glazing, and you've got a bit of drool... right there. No, not there. Right there. Yup, now you got it. Good. Moving on.

 So, typical day in the life of Jesus. Let's SparkNotes this situation for a second.

-Jesus gets brought a possessed man, whom He heals miraculously.

-The Pharisees get tee'd off, and mumble about their disbelief.

-Jesus tells the Pharisees off in a way that only He could do.

-He sheds a little light on spiritual warfare.

And that is where I'd like to hit the brakes and focus on this one part:
Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?
For some reason, in the past, I had typically read this passage with the understanding that the plundered goods were our hearts, which we would have to defend against spiritually demonic forces. Well, let's just say I was on to something, but I didn't quite hit the target.

We, my friends, are the plundered goods.

Jesus is saying that the strong man and his house are Satan and his kingdom. That's why He says He has to bind the strong man in order to steal the goods. To steal us.

Let's think about this for a second. The Christ walked into Satan's house, forced him into a chair, tied him down, and made him watch as Jesus stole the very thing that gave Satan any feeling of power: our souls. Now if that's not a slap in the face, I don't know what is.

The reason I make this point is twofold:

1. I think it's amazing how God does what He wants and cannot be tamed by any manner of evil.

2. In a reflection of the last post I wrote, we are once again weak. Because, in this story, we are not the daring hero that breaks into the house and does as He pleases. We are the damsel in distress, biting our fingernails in terror of death and the unknown - crippled by our fear. We need a Savior.

I don't know if this is something that God is trying to show me, but I keep seeing it. We have no strength. That's something that belongs to Him alone. But, when we are brought into the family, Christ's strength becomes our heirloom - something we can claim as ours. It becomes something that we can operate out of and form the church that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against." It's part of the complete package called "The Holy Spirit."

That's why I think it's important to realize our place as plundered goods. We have been stolen from the darkness.

Let's start living like we know what we came from.


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