43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45
What’s implied within these verses is the spiritual warfare going on in and around us.
Perhaps Jesus’ words were a warning to the man he drove the spirits from or perhaps it was a broader warning to the religious leaders and society in general.
There were many interpretations to this and the parallel passage in Luke 11:24
Jesus drove out demons (sweeping the house) and the Pharisees were hindering people from opening their lives to the things of God. They frowned upon those who weren’t as righteous or legalistic as they were. They had even accused Jesus of being influenced by Beelzebul, the prince of demons.
Jesus was warning them about what they were doing.
Even today many religions teach that you must “empty yourself” to find yourself. When people do that, they open themselves up to unknown spirits. It’s a dangerous practice that could result in demon possession of increased proportions. It’s even worse for the Believer.
Unfortunately, our lives are filled with advertisements for satanic things. Children’s movies and books, cartoons, music. It’s all there and nearly unavoidable.
I recall when the Harry Potter books came out that Christians informed me that those books and subsequent movies were no different than C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia fantasy books. (While not wanting to debate the topic now, essentially, Potter glorified witchcraft and saw it as a positive, whereas Narnia saw it for what it was, witchcraft and something to be avoided).
Society has gotten progressively worse since that series came out.
Like the Hill Street Blues Precinct Captain would say before sending the police officers out each shift, “And hey, hey! Let’s be careful out there, okay?”
That warning is truer now in the spiritual world than it ever has been. Satan has devised many ways to occupy the Christian’s time and resources.
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.