Well, here I am… alive and kicking and I just turned 40 today! If you read yesterday’s post (“I Die Today”), you’ll know why this is such a big deal to me. All year long, I was facing some strange self-inflicted prophecy that age 39 might be my last year on this earth. But it wasn’t–I’m still here… OR AM I??!
Maybe the part of me that needed to die is in the dust. Maybe the addict is slain… At least maybe he can be! Today is a new chapter in my life and the old 39-year porn “spell” on me has got to go!
I’m anxious about it. I hesitate to make another resolution because all my previous resolutions have failed. But, this year can be different. I will be joining a group in just over a month. I believe it will have freeing power. But, will I make it a month? Will I drag the “ball and chain” into this new year as well? I hope not, but I can’t make any guarantees. I am powerless! My faith wavers!
Last week, I did a photo project that I think is so fitting to this topic. It’s called “Water and Spirit”. In the picture, there is a tub (symbolizing a baptismal tank). Inside, someone has just been buried alive (baptized). The person in the tub is also seen standing outside of the tub looking in at herself in mourning. It’s kind of a creepy picture, but I feel it properly represents the Christian experience. We are baptized in Jesus and the old man dies–but he often seems to stand very near crying out about the loss. He wants to come back–he wants to reclaim his body. He wants to be in control again. There is a very interesting parable in the Bible that goes like this, “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first.” Matt. 12:43-45
I have found that just because someone gives their life to Jesus and is baptized, becoming a Christian, does not mean the battle is over. Instead, it seems, the battle just begins. The battle with self is the most intense war ever fought. That “old man” and all his demon friends find themselves in a miserable, “waterless” place–a desert. They can’t stand it. It seems that demons are very uncomfortable when they are not inhabiting a person. They feel homeless and restless. They must find a person to dwell in. If you are vacant, they will check in to your room. Once Jesus evicts them, they want to check back in.