The bible study is reading from Perry Stone's book, The Meal That Heals. In the last chapter, we talked about what a covenant is. We recapped a bit from that. Here is the definition of covenant from Merriam Webster.
1 : a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement : compact
2 a : a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action b : the common-law action to recover damages for breach of such a contract
So, according to the second defintion, a covenant is a written agreement or promise between two or more parties for the performance of some action. Do you know we have a book that contains 66 other books within it that talks about this? It's called the BIBLE. And if a covenant is a written agreement or promise, then what does that make the Bible? A written agreement or promise between two or more parties for the performance of some action. We have physical evidence of the covenant we as Christians share as Christ.
When I got married to Doug, I entered a covenant with him. But I was not in the correct attitude when I entered that covenant. Why? Because I had been hurt before. I decided in my mind that I wasn't going to let Doug tell me what to do. I do what I want. Sure, I've entered into a covenant with you, but I'm going to call the shots. I thought if I controlled everything that I wouldn't get hurt. That's so not true. So what Christians sometimes do is enter this covenant with God, and then decide they are going to do what they want. How's that working for you? I can speak from experience that it doesn't. And another thing I learned is that you can't win an argument with God. I argued with Him while waiting to go into Judgement House for the first time, November 2nd, 2003. Why do we still argue with Him? We're not going to win? So my point is, why enter into an agreement that we're not going to agree with? I'm preaching to myself now, more like yelling "STUPID" at myself and shaking my head. *lol*
That's just food for thought. I've gotten off track a bit. Now it's time to get down to some business.
So here I was in the shower asking myself why I haven't seen the evidence of my healing. And at bible study, the first scripture that the chapter starts out with is Luke 11:24-26. The title of this chapter is When Sickness Tries To Return To Your House.
Luke 11:24-26 says, "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places seeking rest and finding none, he says, 'I will return to the house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first." (NKJV)
The first word that spoke to me was unclean. Of course it would because of my OCD. Sometimes I think my OCD helps me out a bit. *lol* Because the word "unclean" sounds so bad to me. It's not a word I like hearing. So I'm going to look at the definition of "unclean" in Merriam Webster.
1 : morally or spiritually impure
2 : infected with a harmful supernatural contagion; also : prohibited by ritual law for use or contact
3 : dirty, filthy
4 : lacking in clarity and precision of conception or execution
Now we've gone somewhere else. Number four says lacking in clarity and precision of conception or execution. That tells me that if we have an unclean spirit that lives in our home, then we're definitely going to lack clarity and precision. We're definitely not going to be able to execute God's work because we don't have His spirit if we have an unclean spirit.
Some translations of the scripture in Luke say an "evil" spirit. But the definition of unclean didn't have anything to say about it being the same as evil. So now, I have to look up the definition of "evil." There's a connection there or all of the translations of the bible would have used the same word. I also looked up the words from the 3rd defintion of unclean, and the defintion of the word "filthy" has the word "vile" included in it, and vile means of little worth. So not only is this spirit unclean and evil, he's also worthless. This should be enough for someone not to want this type of thing living in their house.
1 a : morally reprehensible : sinful, wicked
2 a archaic : inferior b : causing discomfort or repulsion : offensive
3 a : causing harm : pernicious
1 a : the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing b : a cosmic evil force
2 : something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity
So, what we're looking at here is an unclean spirit. We've learned that he's unclean, evil, worthless, and once he's been put out, he goes and gets seven more wicked, there's the word in the scripture, unclean, evil, worthless spirits to come back and mess up your house. And if you have OCD like me, that should tick you off. Now we find out from the definition of evil is that this spirit, we knew he was sinful and wicked, but now he's inferior, offensive, disagreeable, and causes harm and ENSLAVES you. (I'm leaving out unlucky because it's a bit superfluous here.) This unclean, evil, worthless, inferior, offensive, disagreeable spirit brings with it suffering, misfortune, sorrow, distress, or calamity.
Let's put it all together so we can get a clear look at what we're dealing with.
When an unclean, evil, worthless, inferior, offensive, and disagreeable spirit goes out of a man he goes through dry places, seeking rest and finding none, he says, "I will return to my house, (which isn't even his house, but he has the audacity to call it his, he was just an uninvited guest), from which I came." And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and take with him seven other unclean, eveil, worthless, inferior offensive, and disagreeable spirits more wicked them himself, (which means they are even more evil, worthless, inferior, offensive, and even more disagreeable than this first guy) and they enter and dwell there (in your house uninvited, calling it theirs, having a big unclean, evil, worthless, inferior, and disagreeable party going on, in YOUR HOUSE), and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
Let me give you an example. I'm sitting here at my apartment. The doorbell rings, and I go downstairs to answer the door, and I make the mistake of opening. It's someone I don't know, they're filthy. They have mud on their shoes, they have body odor, the scripture calls it a "he" so we'll go with that. This man hasn't shaved, his hair is hanging in front of his eyes, and it's greasy. He has stains on his clothes, and he's got drugs and guns. He asks if he can come in, and I tell him he cannot, but he pushes past me through the door, up the stairs and into my house, takes off his jacket and shoes, goes and uses my loo, then after raiding the fridge, he sits himself down on my couch, and uses drugs right there, pulls out a needle, injects himself with drugs, and is having his own party. Naturally, I'm distressed because there's a strange, unclean, evil man in my house, messing up my furniture, stinking up the house with his smell, putting me and my family in danger, so I would call the police. That's just common sense. The police would come take this man out of my house. After the man is released from police custody, because you know he will be set free eventually, he goes to stay with is mother. She won't let him just lay around, unshowered, unshaven, smelly, and she won't let him use his drugs or invite his friends over. She also wants him to do chores, and he can't stand that, so he comes back to my house, finds the door locked, and the mess he left completely cleaned up. He becomes angry because he has no place to sit down and do his drugs. So he finds seven guys like him, smelly, dirty, not shaved, muddy shoes, drugs, guns, etc. And they come back to my house. Common sense says that I'm not even going to open the door, and I'm not going to let him in. I would be stupid if I decided to let them in. Nobody would let that man back into their house.
We, as Christians, are looking at that scripture from a spiritual stand point. The house is us, where that spirit wants to dwell. That unclean spirit wants to use us like a parasite feeds off of a host. Apparently, we have the right environment on which to house this unclean spirit. If we didn't have such an agreeable environment for the unclean spirit, he would no longer want to use us.
The scripture also says, the very first line, "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man..." that tells me this spirit can be put out. That spirit can be made to leave. How? It doesn't really say how, but for some reason, he's put out. Maybe we put him out maybe someone comes and helps us put him out. So he can be made to leave. The scripture also says once the unclean spirit cannot find rest, he decides to return from your house, from which he came, but in the scripture, the unclean spirit has the audacity to call your house, "my house." That should make you angry. Who does he think he is, calling my house his house?
The scripture says that the unclean spirit has been put out, he finds no rest, comes back to your house, and then it says he finds it swept up and put in order. What does the scripture say he does next? He gets seven more, and they come back and dwell there, and the state of that house, that man, is worse than the first.
The spirit comes back and finds your house clean, but that doesn't deter him from getting seven more and returning, and the bible says they dwell there, which means they get back inside the house, the man. Why? Because even though you cleaned your house, you did nothing to prevent them from returning. It's like smoking a cigarette. If you smoked before and quit, all it takes is one cigarette to cause you to start smoking again. Even though you've not smoked for thirteen years and can't stand the smell of it, all it takes is one cigarette, and you're smoking again.
What I'm saying is that if unclean spirits can get in, it's because even though you've cleaned yourself up, you still have a proclivity to be caught up in certain things. That scripture says the unclean spirit finds the house swept up and in order, and he goes out and comes back seven unclean spirits, more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell. Why? Because even though the house was clean and in order, it was empty. God's spirit didn't dwell there, atleast that's what the scripture is saying to me. I could be wrong, and if I am, please correct me.
Now how does this connect with what I was thinking in the shower this morning? The chapter is called, "When Sickness Tries To Return To Your House." Now I've seen no evidence of my healing. I haven't, like I mentioned earlier. But I know God's word, which is the promise of healing. And as I mentioned earlier, a covenant is a promise. So, since this chapter is dealing with sickness, I'm curious to see what the definition comes up with.
1 a chiefly Scottish : immoral, vicious b : resulting from, accompanied by, or indicative of an evil or malevolent intention
2 a : causing suffering or distress
3 a : not suited to circumstances or not to one's advantage : unlucky
4 a : not meeting an accepted standard
5 : unfriendly, hostile
1 a : with displeasure or hostility b : in a harsh manner c : so as to reflect unfavorably
2 : in a reprehensible manner
3 : hardly, scarcely
4 a : in an unfortunate manner : badly, unluckily
1 : the reverse of good : evil
2 a : misfortune, distress b (1) : ailment, sickness (2) : something that disturbs or afflicts : trouble
3 : something that reflects unfavorably
Causing suffering or distress. Unfriendly, hostile. You can say that again. See the connection? Immoral and the reverse of good, evil. These words were not anything I expected to find in this definition.
1 a (1) : affected with disease or ill health : ailing (2) : of, relating to, or intended for use in sickness
2 : spiritually or morally unsound or corrupt
3 a : sickened by strong emotion
4 a : mentally or emotionally unsound or disordered : morbid
5 : lacking vigor : sickly: as a : badly outclassed
Look at the second defintion, spiritually or morally unsound or corrupt. I think that goes along with "immoral and vicious" and "the reverse of good: evil."
Look at these definitions. They are saying something, showing what sickness is, where it comes from, that it corrupts, causes suffering, and it's flat out immoral. I want no part of it. I want my healing. I won't stop until I get it.
The world has no real options for me. Even if I took medication for hyperthyroidism, there's no cure. None. I'm stuck with it, according to doctors, for the rest of my life. My God says He has plans of good and not of evil to give me a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11) Does living with hyperthyroidism for the rest of my life sound like a good future? No, it doesn't. I want it gone. I can't pretend it's not there. I can't ignore it. I'm embarassed about it. I don't think it's fair for what is supposed to be the best years of my life to have to go through this. I don't like talking about it, and I try to pretend it's not there, but it's like the elephant in the room. It's going to have to be dealt with.
I'm surprised there isn't a commercial about thyroid disease promoting that one pill a day thing like the other commercials promoting depression medication and such. I can picture how that commercial would go now, a woman riding a horse with bulging eyes (because even with treatment, you're stuck with bulging eyes for the rest of your life). She would say something like, "I thought it was the diet pills I was taking, it wasn't." Then they would show another woman with a goiter (because with treatment, the goiter doesn't always go away either) ballet dancing, and she would say something like, I thought my neck was just getting fat, but that wasn't it at all." Then it would switch back the other woman, and she would be tying up the horse, "So I went to my doctor." Ballet Dancer: "He told me I had hyperthyroidism." Horseback Rider: "My doctor gave me (fill in the name of the drug here.) I take it three times a day." Ballet Dancer: "It's just one pill." Horseback Rider: "And then I can go about my life." Ballet Dancer: "My life." Horseback Rider: "So talk to you doctor about (fill in the name of the drug here), and you can go on living your life." Then they would show scenes of each woman gardening, going out with their families, more dancing and horseback riding, water skiing, etc. while listing the side effects of the drug. All these beautiful images, and then, "Side effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, headache, dizziness, rash and sudden fear of lettuce. If these side effects are persistent or bothersome, call your doctor. Do not take (whatever the name of the drug is) if you are taking an MAOI or thyoridizine." Then even though it listed rash in the side effects, it would say something like, "If you develop a rash or hives, inability breathing, or a lowered white cell count, stop taking this drug and call your doctor." Then it would end the commercial with more beautiful images and fine print about the medication, and the music would fade, and etc. and etc. (What they also don't tell you is that taking the thyroid replacement hormone, synthroid, will make it difficult for you to lose weight, the radioactive idoine ups your chance for throat cancer, and having your thyroid removed won't help much either because you're stuck on synthroid for the rest of your life anyway.)
I don't know about you, but it doesn't sound like much of a life to me. It doesn't sound like a future and a hope. No, it doesn't. It's not glamorous, it's not fun, but that's what the world does, it glamorizes illness, bad habits, and tries its best to cover up evil with an illusion. All that glitters really isn't gold. Ask anyone of the "celebs" in Hollywood. Ask the man who has stepped on people and kicked them off of the corporate ladder on his way to the top. I guarantee he found out that all the money and the promotion wasn't what he thought it was.
As I looked at Luke 11:24-26 through a renewed perspective, I realized that even though I'm not freed from everything yet that it can and will be put out. I don't know how to get rid of it. All I know is that God is the answer. And at the end of the day, I realize that if mustard seed faith can still move mountains, then I have nothing to worry about.