Mary lived and worked in affliction. She agreed with the repetitive lies told to her, tricked into believing they were the truth, and now was a bound captive to their deception. Her world was a dark place, marked by misery and agony.
One day, The Light, a man of miracles, came to town. He walked in love, proclaiming the good news. He brought healing to bodies, minds, and souls. This man of miracles healed Mary, cast out seven demons from her tormented soul. Step-by-step, he helped her replace her fears with faith. Her days became brighter, and her world more colorful and clear. She walked with him in the truth that set her free and was made confident by his love.
Mary followed the Man of Miracles to his death. Painfully, she stood by and watched his violent crucifixion. She saw the tomb and how his body lay. Returning to the site with spices and ointments for his body, Mary was one of the first to find it empty. She was the first to see Jesus, the risen Light of the world. And Jesus made her the first evangelist by sending her to go and tell others the good news- He was alive! The Savior lives!
I like to think about Mary. A tormented soul transformed by truth. A woman with a questionable past, who others would think of as last. Yet, Jesus, who knew everything about her, gave the honor of being the first.
I wonder if those evil spirits and infirmaries that once held her captive ever haunted her? Did her scars hold her back or motivate her to help others find freedom too? What can we learn from her story?
We don’t know what demons Mary Magdalene was agonized by, but there are “demons” demanding our attention every day. “Demons” in the forms of lies pitted against:
1.) our identity
2.) our choices
3.) our abilities
4.) our past or history
5.) our significance
6. ) our beliefs
7.) our security
Satan, the father of lies, master tormentor (2 Cor. 12:7), murderer, thief, destroyer (John 10:10), crafty dragon (Gen. 1:1, Rev 20:1), schemer (2 Cor. 2:5), tempter, stumbling block (Matt. 16:23), sends attacks against those seven things to lead us further into the lies and confusion. He, and his evil minion demons, are at force against good at all times. They are lurking around corners, looking for hearts to devour, minds to tempt, and places of weakness where they can hold us captive. They want us to stay in the past, stuck in our misery, and keep us from our callings.
We need to be aware of this on-going battle and be on guard! Lies are easy to entertain. When given too much attention, they lead us further away from the truth and into the darkness of shame, guilt, and fear. Only truth can lead us back to the Light. And only choosing to take a brave, firm stance, and responding in facts, can free us from the preoccupation with and entertaining of these falsities.
Walking in the Light is a step-by-step journey. It doesn’t mean that we forget where we’ve been, or that our scars miraculously disappear. I wholeheartedly believe God has the power to heal in immediate ways. Still, more often, his healing comes in slow and steady progress where we incrementally become more firm in our faith, learn to walk in humility, and prolong our praise for his transforming work done in us.
Walking with Jesus, healing in a slower manner gives us the time to reflect and offers us more opportunities to trust. It allows us to bask in the Light that has set us free, and soak up the truth needed to strengthen us in the fight against the “demons” and darkness that want to cloud and cover over us. The Light shines bright with honesty, allows us to break free from our past, and helps us run toward our future into the callings Christ has chosen us to do.
There will be skeptics and critics along the way. When Mary went and told the other disciples that Jesus was alive, the disciples wept and mourned, and chose not to believe it. Sometimes we are our own worst critic and skeptic. We have a hard time accepting the truth; instead, we continue to stay stuck in our disbelief and hardships.
To break free from the lies, we need to bring them into the Light. We can find healing by saying them out loud, cast them out with the truth, and deflate their power over us. We can be brave, admit our struggles and insecurities to other people, allowing them to speak truth into and over us, and let them walk with us, step by step, to freedom.
The truth will set you free!