He would be on the top ten list of least likely people to ever get delivered. He was an uncontrollable, dangerous, demon-possessed lunatic. This had been his condition for a long time but a “suddenly” was coming toward him and everything was going to change.
Those who knew him would most likely say, “Surely no one should expect him to get free. He has made no effort to get help. Surely it would be naive and unreasonably optimistic to believe his time of deliverance has already been set in motion. Right?” Nope. There were events unfolding right then that would culminate in a convergence of God’s love and power with a seemingly impossible situation.
I am speaking of the demon-possessed man in the region of the Gadarenes. He was “a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains,because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5:2-5).
Breakthrough and deliverance were coming for this man, but he did not know it (nor did anyone else). When Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 4:35, “Let us cross over to the other side,” it set in motion a set of events which would lead to the demoniacs sudden breakthrough, but at that time, the only thing the oppressed man could see was more pain and torment. He had no grid for the goodness and mercy which would invade his life and change everything. Just like this man, breakthrough and deliverance are coming for you, your family, and your nation. It has already been set in motion.
Here is what amazes me: This man did not seem to do anything to have a life-changing encounter with Jesus. He did not repent. He did not proclaim his commitment to God. He did not renounce actions and beliefs which gave an open door to the devil. He did not schedule a meeting with an exorcist. While these certainly have their place, I am wanting to reveal a greater truth here about the abundance of God’s grace. Grace is the undeserved, unmerited favor of God toward us. As I write this, I am seeing it coming toward us right now in areas of our lives that look dead and “in the tombs.”
“Then (the people of the region) came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid” (Mark 5:15). This encounter was so powerful that it caused people to know God had manifested. What God is about to do in your life will be so astounding that people will know it was a demonstration of His power, love, and goodness. They will be undone and know it was Him.
Testimonies and stories like this bring hope for others and ourselves. It is good news. The Gospel is good news. Hearing good news and believing it is how we get into the kingdom and how we advance in the kingdom
“This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2-3).
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15).
“The goodness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
My prayer and belief as you read this blog is that you will be ignited with hope like never before.
Declare this out loud: Breakthrough is coming to me and those I love. It has already been set in motion. We don’t deserve it, but it is coming anyway.
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.