Are you living the nightmare instead of the dream?

Mark 5:1-13

“and he replied, ‘Legion, for we are many'” v. 9

Satan hates you and has a terrible plan for your life. Unfortunately, our world tends to glamorize darkness and make it look appealing. And frankly, on the surface it can look appealing. A life lived in sin and darkness is made to look fun and free, because we only see enough, at first, to appeal to the senses. We even glamorize horror in our movies by making vampires and werewolves look like someone you may want to date. The world attempts to make evil look good and exciting, and righteousness look dull and boring, so you will blindly buy in without looking past the cover until you’re in. Drug addicts never start out hoping to become addicted. They start out looking for a thrill or an escape, Then over time they find themselves living in their own personal hell. The same happens to all of us on some level, whether we’re drugging, sexing, or just self-righteous gossiping. It’s all the same. Sin is sold to us with a slick brochure offering freedom and fun, but when we buy in we find we’ve been taken for a ride we don’t want to continue. But in the story of the demoniac we see the end result of a life lived in darkness. We see a man who, at least until now, is the embodiment of hell on earth. You might say the demoniac is a walking preview of Hell. When Jesus climbed out of his boat he was approached by a man who had spent  much of his life possessed by demons. Now people under demonic oppression don’t just wake up possessed one day. They become inhabited by demons through some participation in witchcraft, occult, who knows what, then at some point open the door to the demonic. At some point this man had opened himself up to darkness and ended up with more than he had bargained for. This is how sin works , on any level. Now we see some time later, that this man was living the nightmare, instead of the dream. Let’s take a look at where sin ultimately leads us in this life, and potentially into eternity.

V.3- Isolation- “He lived among the tombs…” This man eventually had to leave his home and family, and spend his days alone among dead people. The first thing that sin does is isolate you. Sin will send you places you never wanted to go.

V.4- Desperation – “He had often been bound with chains…” Many well-meaning people had tried to chain him up and get him under control, but he kept breaking the chains. Eventually his loved ones stopped trying. He was in an apparently incurable situation. Sin will make you think there’s no way out.

V.5- Self-harm- “He was always crying out and cutting himself…” This needs no explanation. The man began to attack himself. You know you’re in trouble when your sin is causing you to harm yourself and the people around you. Sin will make you do things to yourself you never imagined.

V.6-7- Confusion- “What have you to do with me?” The man ran to Jesus for help, but cried out against Jesus  at the same time. It was like he knew he needed help, but was scared to death of the helper at the same time. Sin will make you so confused you can’t distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, light from dark.

V.9- – Multiple problems- “Legion, for we are many” When Jesus asked the demon it’s name it said, “Legion, for we are many.” He started out with one, which led to another, and another, until he was overrun with evil spirits. Sin will multiply itself into various other forms until you are overrun.

V.12-13 – Destruction – “and were drowned in the sea.” These demons were cast out into a herd of pigs, which they drowned into the sea. If this man had not been delivered, I wonder how long it would have been before they drove him into the sea instead. They were, and are, bent on destruction. Friend, put away your images of Satan as some kind of cool party guy, who just wants to give you a good time. What he wants is to destroy you. If he could get you into hell today he would do it. The very sight of you makes him sick, because you are “Imageo dei”- the image of God.

The good news is, that for all the hell this man was living in, one word from Jesus was all it took to set him free. In one afternoon that man went from being a preview of Hell to a preview of Heaven. Which preview are you living? He went from living the nightmare to living the dream, God’s dream. Are you living the nightmare, or the dream?


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