“…sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons.” Mk 3:14-15
My seminary training was so boring. Too much time was spent learning Greek and Hebrew. Instead of doing fun stuff, professors wanted us to proclaim the Gospel. When we could have been learning how to use the powers of God, they wanted us to know pastoral care. Boring stuff like, how to listen with compassion and pray for and with people in need. Despite what many think, they wouldn’t even let us preach as long as we wanted.
It would have been more exciting to learn how to cast out demons. This would have involved learning some Jedi-like mind tricks for spiritual warfare. We would need Bo Staff training for times when demons made a direct physical assault. And, as anyone who has seen the Exorcist knows, we would have needed holy water training.
There is an image in my head of what demons look and act like. This image has been placed there by movies and classic novels. Even the stories of Jesus casting out demons play to this image. However, the longer I am in ministry, the more I see demons as the thoughts which dwell deep within us. The thoughts which constantly seek to question our value and God’s.
When I proclaim God’s love for you in a sermon, I know these words will be twisted in your head. These thoughts will try to tell you God is make believe. They’ll try to convince you by saying, “How can a powerful God love someone like you? Look at everything you’ve done wrong or haven’t done at all.”
You’re not crazy, most of us have these kinds of voices in our heads. How can we avoid having them when we spend the majority of our week working for approval? The power we are given, the power I learned in seminary, is the power of God’s love. It’s a message we can all proclaim. It has the power to cast out demons and breathe into us new life. God loves you. Hear it and believe it.
Click to read: Mark 3: 13-19
- How much of your week is spent working for approval?
- When was a time someone questioned your value? How did it feel?
- Compare that to a time when someone helped you see your worth.
- How can you proclaim God’s love in words and actions?