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Cleaning isn't easy

Luke 11: 24 "The spirit finds 7 other spirits more wicked than itself and they go live in the cleaned out house. The final condition of that person is worse than initially"

The gospels are full of instances where Jesus drives out demons. HE even drives them into pigs on occasion and silences them from ever having control over people. Even the disciples drive out demons and restore individuals to their families. But then we come across this verse in Luke 11.

Jesus describes the arduous process that we often undertake. Self-improvement. Becoming the best version of ourselves. We know that we aren't everything that we could be and we work hard to change that. We work to clear the demons that reside in our heart and drain our focus. But it doesn't last long, does it? And it's not just us. The old testament is filled with this story. The people of Israel follow GOD for sometime but ultimately assuaged by their temptations. They eventually come back to fall yet again.

Why is that? We can all agree that striving to become better is an admirable effort. We certainly see everywhere in our culture tips and tricks for self-improvement. Books about how to become more motivated. How to set goals and be successful. But therein lies the problem. Removing vices from our life still ultimately leaves us in control. Israel was still in control of their destiny because they had been unable to completely submit to GOD. They made changes that they thought GOD would like but did not let HIM steer their lives.

Christ's death and resurrection provides us with one of the greatest gifts to mankind. The Holy Spirit. We are not intended to take on this task of betterment in our own power. We, on our own, are weak and insufficient to become more Christ-like. We become even more vulnerable in the process. Instead we can open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. Psalm 1:3 reminds us that we can be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it's fruit in season. That stream of water that never ceases is the Holy Spirit. We are called to meditate on HIS word and delight in HIS word. And in that process of drawing close to HIM, HE will clean our hearts and drive the demons out permanently. This remains an active process. So don't lose hope along the way. Instead chose to derive your hope and power from HIM alone.

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