“How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” Matthew 12:29.
For the longest time I had a hard time understanding the meaning of this verse and how it applied to my life. Before I made my commitment to the Lord Jesus, there was a strong man who had control of my house and all the goods it contained, the talents and gifts given from the Lord. I thought all was well because, “When men give themselves over to be the slaves of Satan, he does not manifest the enmity toward them which he does to those who bear the name of Christ, and give themselves to the service of God. … Satan will permit those to have a degree of rest who are bound as slaves to his chariot, for they are his willing captives.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 299.
This is what we need to understand. “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.” Luke 11:21. As bond slaves, we think we are at peace!
When is it that the anger of the strong man is raised and our so-called peace is shaken? “His enmity is aroused when the message of mercy reaches his bondslaves, and they seek to wrench themselves away from his power, that they may follow the true Shepherd. Then it is that he seeks to bind them with additional chains to hold them in their captivity. The conflict between the soul and Satan begins when the captive begins to tug at the chain, and longs to be free; for it is then that the human agent begins to co-operate with heavenly intelligences, when faith takes hold on Christ.” Ibid.
When the Holy Spirit moves upon our hearts and we begin to yearn for freedom in Christ, this is the time when Jesus can enter into the strong man’s house and spoil his goods. “Then it is that the Stronger than the strong man armed, is the helper of the soul, and the poor captive is strengthened by the Holy Spirit to obtain his freedom.” Ibid. Praise the Lord!
“Jesus is stronger than the strong man armed, and will rescue from the power of Satan every soul that relies wholly upon him. Although we may be weak and helpless in ourselves, yet all the forces of heaven are at the command of the believing child of God, and the hosts of hell cannot make him depart from the right course if he clings to God by living faith.” The Review and Herald, May 20, 1884.
“He who unites himself with Christ will gather to himself the graces of Christ. … By cooperation with the Saviour, he becomes the instrument through which God works. Then when Satan comes and strives to take possession of the soul, he finds that Christ has made him stronger than the strong man armed.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1092.
Heavenly Father, I now understand that the strong man armed was Satan in control of my life and all of its talents. I am so thankful that I invited Jesus into my heart and that He is stronger than the strong man armed. I am so thankful that through Him I am free and that the doors of my heart are open for the Holy Spirit to use all of the gifts and talents You have bestowed upon me to Your glory in turning others heavenward. I cling to Thee so that the strong man armed can no longer use me to turn others earthward. Thank You for freedom from the strong man armed. Amen.