The bad guy is holding a gun in the face of a clerk, demanding money. Suddenly the superhero crashes in! There is a great battle, and half of the store is destroyed, but in the end, the criminal is arrested and brought to justice. And the store owner, who was saved from robbery, but wound up with a mess, begs the superhero to never return.
It’s the template for all superhero and rogue cop movies…and Jesus started it all! The gospels tell the story of when Jesus cast demons out of a man and into a herd of pigs. Some of the gospels say one man, John says there were 2 men (see John 8:28-34). Jesus was walking alongside a lake near the area of Gadarene. Two men were living in the area of tombs there. They were possessed by demons. They were so dangerous, in fact, that the people of the area would not even go near the place! It must have been frightening for them, to have these demonic men terrorizing any who came near. They must have harmed or even killed passers-by. When Jesus approached, the demons recognized Him as God’s Son. They begged Him to cause them to go into the heard of pigs if He was going to cast them out of the men. That is exactly what Jesus did. Into the pigs they went, and the pigs immediately turned, ran down an embankment, and into the lake…where they all drowned. The 2 men were free, and the danger of the area was now gone. How did the townspeople re-act? They begged Jesus to leave the area.

Wasn’t Jesus the good guy in this story? Of course He was!!!! He released 2 men from the terrifying grip of demons, and removed the dangerous threat so that people could travel along that route again…but He allowed thousands of pigs to be destroyed in the process. What was more important? The men! But the people didn’t see it that way. They would have been happier to see those poor men continue to suffer than to lose their property. Their priorities were a mess!!!

I wonder if we do the same thing as those people, though. When we ask Jesus to come into our lives and make us His own, we are asking Him to make some pretty radical changes. We are inviting Him to change us from filthy sinners, unable to be used, to people seen as righteous in the sight of God (through Jesus) and vessels to be used in His service. I don’t know about you, but I see myself as not just a cracked pot, but one full of wholes and chips as well. I am continually amazed by the things God has done, and continues to do, in my life. I am humbled that He has chosen to use me. Yet, there are areas in my life that I refuse to hand over to Him. In fact, I beg Him to leave them alone! Picture that! This cracked, whole-riddled, chipped pot sectioning off parts of the inside and saying to the Master, “Nope, You can’t use that part. In fact, I don’t want You to just not use them; I want You to stay as far away from them as You possibly can!” Now how does that work?! Can you see the Master filling this pot with His love, His plans, His resources, His blood…but it must fill around these pockets of nothingness that we have reserved. In the end, we cannot be completely filled…and we cannot be used to our full potential. What exactly do we think we are going to do with those air pockets that is worthy of the Master?

If we have invited Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, then one by one, air-pocket by air-pocket, we need to stop chasing Jesus away, and ask Him to fill us completely, and use us according to His plans and purposes…AND MAY HE BE GLORIFIED WHEN WE DO!!!