Heal The Land Daily Devotional Archives

Devotionals By The Heal The Land Ministry

Do Not Let Evil Take Root

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

Galatians 5:9 – A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Do you know what leaven is? It is fungus. It’s growing and spreading through flour and dough produces a chemical reaction that causes the dough to rise. Even though that may be the desired effect, it is still bacteria, so it is unclean. So anything that it touches and causes a reaction in is unclean. That is why Jews eat unleavened bread on their holy days and observances: to prevent anything impure from corrupting their bodies. So, the Bible often uses leaven as an allegory for how sin corrupts man.  The Bible also uses water to represent cleansing and purifying of sin, and salt – which in addition to seasoning and preserving food has medicinal value – to represent how good works cause a positive effect, a good influence. But unlike salt and water, leaven is made up of living things that can grow and reproduce. Therefore, you only need to introduce a tiny amount of the fungus into a large amount of dough for it to eventually spread through the entire batch. If you are making light and fluffy cakes for consumption during normal times, then that is a good thing, but if you are making bread for communion or Passover, then it is not, as it contaminates dough which is supposed to be clean and set apart, making it useless for the purpose for which it was intended, and possibly resulting in its being discarded. But if you discover the leaven early enough, you can simply remove the already leavened portion and save the rest because it has not yet been contaminated. And that is how sin, or temptation which leads to sin, works. It starts out small and localized, but you know it’s there. If you rise up against it and cast it out immediately in the Name of Jesus Christ, then the threat is over with no harm done. But if you let it linger, it and the spiritual contamination and destructive influence will grow until it gets very difficult to deal with. It is also the same with evil spirits. If you are being tormented or influenced by one and seek spiritual deliverance early on, then spiritual deliverance should be relatively straightforward. But if you let it linger, its hold on you will grow, you may start walking in agreement with it, and it will invite other spirits, resulting in a lot of damage to you and those around you. Spiritual deliverance then becomes much more difficult, and so does dealing with the effects of the evil that you caused when you were under the influence of demons, such as getting forgiveness and regaining the trust of those that you hurt, repairing your finances, and in many cases having your physical, mental, and emotional health restored.  This is what Jesus Christ meant when He said that if your right eye offends you, pluck it out, because it is better to go through life with one eye than the lake of fire with two (“Matthew 5:29”). Now consider the context: Christ’s immediately preceding comments were that if you look at a woman and desire her sexually, then that is the sin of lust, which is the same in God’s Eyes as the sin of adultery. Now of course, Christ did not mean LITERALLY poking your eyes out: you would still be a sinner with one less eye. (Sadly, you have a lot of people who try to do pretty much the same through religion, and they fill themselves with self – condemnation and persecution but remain just as sinful as they were before.) Instead, Jesus Christ was referring to a sin nature that can be caused by either or both bad lifestyles and demon possession. The lifestyle would be going to strip clubs and juke joints, listening to sexually explicit music, perusing the celebrity magazines in the grocery store, watching pretty much anything on network or cable TV (they have long been putting sexual images, dialogue, and themes in even children’s cartoons!), or leering at every (or even any) piece of exposed skin that you see when you go to the beach. As far as the evil spirits? They can either enter into someone as a result of the lifestyle or drive a person into pursuing that lifestyle, or a combination of both. Now Jesus Christ was making a play on words, as of course you do not have to be physically looking at a woman or a woman’s image to be committing lust – as a matter of fact there is a demon called fantasy lust – but the commonly known and observed public manifestation of this sin was a man looking at a woman inappropriately. So when He was talking about “plucking out your eye to prevent you from being able to see a woman to lust after her” (when such a man can continue to use the memory of the women that he has already seen to commit fantasy lust), He really meant A) end your lifestyles or tendencies that tempt and cause you to sin and B) get any and all demons, which defile, tempt, and corrupt you and cause you to sin, cast out of you.  And like many things in the Bible, the spirit realm principle under the New Covenant was illustrated and foreshadowed by the actions of
Israel in the natural realm under the Old Covenant. When Israel came up out of Egypt, God specifically commanded them to drive out ALL of the people from Canaan and the rest of the Promised Land, because if they let any of these pagan idolators remain, the
Israel would inevitably start worshipping their gods (Numbers 33:55). The people of Israel did not obey God’s Commandments, because A) once they got a little land, even though it was not all the land that God promised them and commanded them to take, they were satisfied, settled down to enjoy themselves, and stopped fighting and B) because it was very hard and C) because very few of them were interested in serving God from a personal relationship with the Lord out of love but were instead only serving God out of fear and promises of blessings, and as such never sought to learn how to walk in obedience and faith, especially during times of temptations and trials. Because they did not drive out all of the people from their midst, they even demanded of God a king because the pagan people had kings and they envied them. So, when the idolatry of the surrounding peoples entered the lineage of kings through Solomon, it resulted in idolatry remaining in Israel until the time that for that same idolatry God delivered the children of Israel to slaughter and captivity at the hands of
Babylon. And still today, so many Christians follow the example of
Israel. Though they are saved through Christ, they will not try to overcome through faith their sinful tendencies (of those who even try to change their sinful tendencies, the vast majority try to use religion and legalism rather than through faith and the Bible). They will not reject conduct which is sinful or tempts one into sin, and they continue to associate with sinners (Psalm 1).  This results in their being significantly corrupted, bound, and oppressed by sin. And most never seek spiritual deliverance from the evil spirits that either drove them to or entered into them by this sin. Though they may yet be saved, they go through life as leavened lumps rather than as salt; powerless to help themselves and not in the condition needed for them to submit themselves to be used by God to help others (they will submit to and do far more harm than good through religion however.) People delude themselves about what sin is and about how it spreads, corrupts, and kills like cancer, and so they do not rise up against it whenever they see it begin to manifest or when they begin to suffer temptation.
 

That is why I so loved Daniel’s reaction when evil men provoked the king Darius to make it illegal under punishment of death to pray for 30 days (Daniel 6). Daniel knew that this was a great evil, so he IMMEDIATELY rose up against it by praying against it, a form of spiritual warfare. Daniel knew what spiritual cloud of darkness would come over the land – and threaten Israel, who was already in an extremely perilous position – if even a large number of
Israel went 30 days without praying. And he did not want the notion that one ought not to pray be to be established either in anyone’s mind or in the spiritual realm. And on a simpler level, he just flat out knew it was wrong and wasn’t going to take it lying down. Daniel did not pause, he did not ponder or consider it, he did not try to plot out his next step or consider the consequences, he immediately took action against the evil to cause it to be removed before the evil could take root and spread! Now keep in mind, Daniel already prayed at set times three times each day. But Daniel did not even wait until his next appointed time! As soon as he knew that the king signed the law, he went home and prayed! And oh yes, Daniel was not stealth about it; HE PURPOSEFULLY PRAYED WITH THE DOOR OPEN! Why? Daniel was not trying to hide from Satan, but rather HIS ENTIRE PURPOSE WAS TO CHALLENGE SATAN FOR GOD IN THE NATURAL REALM SO THAT GOD’S WILL OF OVERCOMING SATAN IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM WOULD BE DONE! And oh how different Christians today are from Daniel. Most would have told themselves that waiting 30 days was no big thing to abide. Most of the rest would have waited until day 15 or 20, “until the heat died down”, and prayed hoping to get away with it. And then there are those who would not have done a thing without calling their pastor, or waiting to hear what the pastor has to say about it on Sunday, or even on the Sunday after that. And the pastor would not be willing to determine an appropriate response to his congregation without first consulting the denominational leadership, and the denominational leadership would not provide direction until they had all of the required committees and councils on the issue. Even among the few that would decide to challenge the situation immediately by praying, most would have done so behind closed doors and windows.
 And thanks to Daniel NOT being like the religious people of today, the evil did not even endure 24 hours. By the very next morning, Daniel was out of the lion’s den, God’s Power was known and promoted throughout the kingdom, the law against prayer had not only been revoked but reversed, making it illegal under penalty of death to pray to anyone else BUT Elohim, and the evil people who allowed themselves to be used by Satan to bring this evil against Daniel and God’s Chosen People Israel had been killed by the lions; them and their families. Satan’s entire bands had been broken, his plans brought to ruin, his armies defeated, his enemy was being exalted in the eyes of the people; it was a thorough rout. But contrast that to Christians of this day, who are so willing to suffer evil that they hand themselves and all that is theirs over to Satan without so much as putting up the least little fight by turning off the TV, or even better changing the channel to the Christian station. And again, this was not just an evil that threatened Daniel; it certainly would have been used against other Israelis and possibly the entire nation. So Daniel’s quick action saved countless lives, both of Israelis and their captors (as God would have stretched His Hand against them). So even Christians who personally seek to reject sin and evil spirits often do not do a thing to help bring other people out of sin.  But it really does need to be cut off at the root. Challenge it at its source by treating it for what it is, a spiritual issue or attack, or at the very least something that might result in a spiritual issue or attack. And whatever seemingly innocent thing that started or led to the sin: put it away! If it is the music that glorifies marijuana, the TV show that glorifies violence, a magazine that glamorizes materialism/greed/selfishness, a hobby that promotes witchcraft and divination, a movie that promotes rebellion and division, friends that gossip and speak and act vulgar, or a church whose members have no love. Now you know these things are wrong in God’s Sight, but you do them anyway. Even if you do not know that they are wrong, it is because you have not sought Truth from God, and you know that God requires of you to seek His Truth. So either way, you are already condemned. Not only that, you are not helping spare those around you from condemnation. If you have children, then you are not raising them up in a righteous environment with you as an example of righteousness, but instead are filling them with corruption and showing them how to be corrupt. If you have a spouse, you are either unequally yoked and a negative influence in the marriage, or you are equally yoked in iniquity and not being one who intercedes for your spouse and helps draw your spouse to righteousness. You are a similar vexing and bad influence on your brothers and sisters and parents. And what of the unsaved? You could be showing them righteousness so that they could follow, or even if they are not going to follow you should not give their behavior your endorsement. And not only should you not partake of filth, but you should rise up against it so that it can be overcome! You should challenge the evil actions and words of those around you, especially family members! It is not so much “being your brother’s keeper” as it is spiritual warfare, to keep evil from being established in the environment and in the hearts and minds of people.  It used to be that whenever an unsavory character came into a neighborhood or a town, he would be immediately confronted by people in authority and held in good regard and told to leave. This wasn’t necessarily even the doings of the church or anyone spiritual, but merely an attempt to maintain order and decency and to protect the vulnerable and impressionable. But now you don’t even have church people doing the same thing in the church, let alone in the outside world! That is right, when members in the church are supposed to be OUT THERE trying to stand against the liars, gossip – mongers, seditionists, thieves, pornographers, murderers, usurers, etc., we do not even stand up for keeping the sanctuary from being defiled. The reason is that the church has become more about ritual, institution, culture, and lifestyle than it is spiritual. People go to church like they go to the grocery store, and just like there is no longer any reason to think about the grocery store after you have gotten all you need, they stop thinking about God immediately after church and after spending a few minutes of devotion and Bible reading a day (for those who even do that). The reason is that church has become merely a part or facet of life for the vast majority of Christians, rather than God BEING their life. If God IS your life, then you seek to be doing the Will of God continuously, and that includes rising up to battle evil whenever God moves you to.  

And if evil is like a plant that starts out as a seed, then becomes a small plant that ultimately grows into long thick choking vines with poisonous leaves and thorns, there are so many ways to act against it. You can dig it up. You can poison it. You can burn it. You can chop it up. You can flood it. You can crowd it out. You can pour cement on it. There are just so many possibilities. But the key is A) deciding that you don’t want the plant around and B) recognizing that the longer you allow the plant to stay, the bigger problem it gets. Even when you can barely see the portion of the plant that sticks above ground, it has a root in the ground that is much bigger than the part that you can see. Attack the plant as soon as you see it, and it is easier to remove or kill the root. But if you wait until the plant gets large, even if you remove the entire visible part and go a good distance under the earth to get a large portion of root, there will still be some root left in the ground that can grow back. So it would take a great deal of work to kill or remove the entire root. And if you weren’t willing to kill the plant when it was tiny and easy to deal with, how zealous will you be in destroying deep hidden roots wrapped around rocks and hiding in crevasses? And if you wait until that plant produces seeds of itself after its own, then you are really in a mess: you are not even going to know where the seeds are all planted!  That is why we need the Love of Jesus Christ and the help of Jesus Christ. We need the Love of Jesus Christ to make us hate sin so much that we will destroy it to the root whenever we detect it, and the help of Jesus Christ to make sure that we utterly destroy it down to the last bit of root. If we love ourselves, we will delude ourselves into thinking that we can enjoy the sin for a little while before we get around to removing it, and if we use religion rather than Christ Jesus, we will only remove the part of the corruption that is visible above ground, leaving the root behind. And get this: if you remove the visible part but not the root, THE ROOT IS STILL GETTING BIGGER WHILE THE VISIBLE PART GROWS BACK! So yes, you may think that you are accomplishing something by mowing down the visible portion of the plant again and again and again as soon as it peeks its first leaf and stem through the ground (as religion teaches us), but the truth is that though you may not often manifest that sin because you are trying to control it with values, ethics, custom, tradition, legalism, or for the sake of appearances, those tendency roots plus whatever evil spirits that you might have are just burrowing deeper and deeper. To be truly free at any stage, you are going to have to deal with the root, so it is best to deal with it when you first notice it, as that is when the root is smallest. Even if it is a generational or inheritance demon, or a tendency that you did not know was sinful because you were never taught any better, and as a result the tendency or the demon is deeply rooted, you can still be cleansed of the tendency, and the demon can still be cast out. Despite the hard work and pain that you will have to endure, it is better to get those deep roots out at the outset than partially doing it and letting them get longer. Deliverance ministers speak of this when they talk about how people keep coming back to them over the course of many years because the same demon that was cast out gets right back in again until they are finally free. And Jesus Christ painted an even starker scenario: about an evil spirit that gets cast out and comes back with 7 spirits more wicked than he and the last state of that person is worst than the first (Matthew 12:43 – 45).   That is why we need the Love and help of Jesus Christ so that we can quickly become serious about our deliverance from sin, sinful tendencies, and demons and so that we will persevere in seeking our deliverance so that we can be free and clean as soon as possible and also remain so afterwards. It is not so much about our personally being righteous as it is a desire to please God; to be what God wants us to be, which is pure and not a stench in His Eyes. If you are righteous after in your own eyes, you will convince yourself that God ought to and will accept you too. But if you want to please God, you will keep His Commandments and do your best – which is to allow God to work HIS BEST in and through you by HIS SPIRIT – to be and remain undefiled, and furthermore you will rise up against that which defiles and is defiled whenever God moves your spirit. It could be said that when you reach a certain point of love, obedience, faith, and rejection of self – will that every time you will see evil you will war against it for God would not have suffered you to see the evil unless He desired for you to rise against it in His Name so that He could overcome it with His Spirit. That is what Daniel did, and that is what we are to be too, before the leaven corrupts us, our families, our churches, our schools, our workplaces, and every other place that God has put us in so that we would do His Will by standing for His Righteousness and against the wicked works of the enemy. Lord God, may we seek and know Your Will regarding this matter so that we might do it, and may we do it only according to Your Instruction. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen! Prayer:Father God, in the Name of Jesus Christ, may Your children eschew evil; submitting to You so that You may overcome it with whether inside of our outside of themselves. May Your Children according to faith and Your Direction and using the Name and Blood of Jesus Christ pray against, bind, rebuke, and cast out evil spirits and pray against evil tendencies in ourselves and others, and may we seek spiritual deliverance whenever You tell us to. May Your children do and keep the things that we know to be right and pure, and may we continually seek Your Will and await Your Command concerning the things that are – or are not – right and pure. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.   Deliverance:The demons that operate in this area are sloth, fear, selfishness, self – will, self – love, procrastination, lethargy, and rebellion. These cause Christians to become comfortable with sin in and around them, and hinder their effectively doing anything about it even when the sin causes them great distress and vexation. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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